February 9, 2017 / 6:19 PM / 8 months ago

Canada expects to contend for top spot in Pyeongchang

(Reuters) - Canada plans to send its biggest team ever to a Winter Games in 2018 and expects to contend for top spot on the medal table at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

To mark the one-year countdown to the Winter Games, the COC announced lofty ambitions for the 245 athletes it expects to send to South Korea after smaller Canadian teams topped the medal table at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with 14 gold medals and finished third at Sochi in 2014 with 10 gold.

“Our athletes are getting on World Cup podiums in impressive numbers in this pre-Olympic season so it really bodes well for Pyeongchang,” said Isabelle Charest, a three-time Olympic medallist and Canada’s chef de mission for Pyeongchang.

“I‘m looking forward to working closely with them to help them deal with the mounting pressure and the unique Games environment so they shine when their date with history comes.”

According to the COC, Canada is currently tracking among the top winter sport nations in world cup results. As of Feb. 5, the COC said Canada sits third with 116 total medals and 41 gold medals after 434 World Cup events on the 2016-17 sport calendar.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue

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