By Jim Hynes
McGill athletes past and present are returning to Canada from the Beijing Summer Olympics with a lifetime of memories, and one Bronze medal.
Thomas Hall, a McGill physical education and kinesiology student from Pointe-Claire, took Bronze in the men’s C1-1000m (single canoe, 1000 metres) with a time of three minutes 53.65 seconds.
He became the first McGill student to win a medal at a Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta, when rowers Alison Korn and Tosha Tsang earned Silver with the Canadian women’s heavyweight eight. The last McGill male to win a medal was swimmer Robert Kasting, who earned a Bronze at the 1972 Munich Games.
Other McGill students who competed in the Beijing Games include synchronized swimmer Marie-Pierre Gagné of Montreal, who captained the Canadian squad to a fourth-place finish, and Victoria Poon, a kinesiology student from LaSalle, who got over a case of chicken pox in time to compete in the 50-metre freestyle, where she finished 30th.
Wrestler David Zilberman an Education major from Côte St. Luc, who competed in the 96-kg freestyle event, lost a key match to Uzbekistan’s Kurban Kurbanov that might have seen him contend for a Bronze. Zilberman won Bronze in the same event at the 2008 Pan Am Games.
“McGill has a great tradition of innovation and excellence in sport as well as a long history of participation on the world stage as Olympians,” said Drew Love, Director of McGill’s Department of Athletics. “We are proud of all of the McGillians who have participated in past Olympics as athletes, coaches and team staff and I would like to extend my personal congratulations to those individuals who participated in this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.”