Pan American Games 2023 fuels Paris dreams for Team Canada

Santiago Pan American Games 2023
Oct 20, 2023; Team Canada arrives in style at Santiago 2023 Opening Ceremony. Mandatory Credit: Leah Hennel-COC

Santiago, Chile was the host city for the 2023 Pan American Games where Team Canada had their second best medal haul for a games not held in Canada. A total of 46 gold, 55 silver and 63 bronze combined for 164 total medals, third only to the total volume of medals won by the USA and Brazil. That came from a team of 469 competitors taking part in 36 different events, quite an effort from the team.

The ParaPan games are still in progress in Chile with Canada also picking up some medals there as the athletes continue to add to what seems like a golden generation in Canadian sport. Qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics will have been at the forefront of many participants thinking, with next summer a huge target. Paris is also going to be a time when there will be plenty of options across the betting sites for those who enjoy having a play on the Olympics. 

There was a perfect split with both the men and women picking up 22 gold medals each with two coming in mixed company. The women outperformed the men in both the silver and bronze categories and by 81 to 71 overall with 11 medals coming in mixed or open events.

If you missed any of the action in Santiago then fear not, we have a full review of the major wins from Team Canada with the 46 gold medals a sensational return from the team over the course of the games.


In any of these multi event games, it’s on the track that most people’s eyes are drawn. There were four gold medals gained here, two on the track and two in the field for Team Canada.

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot was the first of them, winning the men’s 1500m. He had picked up a bronze in the same event in 2015 when the games were in Toronto but he has not managed to produce that level of form at a World Championship or an Olympics so far.

The other track gold came courtesy of Jean-Simon Desgagnes in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. It has been a strong year for him, improving his personal best on multiple occasions.

Sarah Mitton won the women’s shot put, confirming her place as one of the stars of the track and field scene. She has enjoyed a flying time of things in the last 18 months or so, winning gold in the Commonwealth Games last year before a silver at the Worlds this year.

The men’s hammer was won by Ethan Katzberg. He had won the gold at the World Championships in Budapest back in the summer. The 21yo is one of the shining lights of Team Canada and should be so with Paris 2024 firmly on the horizon.


The biggest haul for Team Canada in Santiago came in the pool with 11 gold medals gained and 25 medals overall. Five of those 11 golds were won by Maggie Mac Neil. The 23yo was an Olympic champion in 2020, winning the women’s 100m butterfly, the 50m freestyle and the 100m freestyle on top of being part of the women’s 4 X 100m freestyle relay and women’s 4 X 100m medley relay winning teams in Santiago.

It was the women who dominated with Sydney Pickrem winning both the women’s 200m breaststroke and the women’s 200m individual medley. Rachel Nicol picked up gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke, Mary Sophie Harvey landed the women’s 200m freestyle and Julie Brousseau the women’s 400m individual medley. Brousseau is an Ottawa native and only a teenager so she has a huge deal of promise to come.

Finlay Knox was the sole gold medalist to save the men’s blushes in the Team Canada camp when he won the 200m individual medley. Knox has picked up a string of bronze medals over the last few years so he will have been delighted to see a different colour medal hung around his neck.


A further five gold medals were won in the cycling with the cross-country events won by Gunnar Holmgren and Jennifer Jackson in the men’s and women’s respectively. 

There were three wins in the velodrome with the men’s team sprint, women’s team pursuit and men’s team pursuit all able to stand on the top step of the podium. Canada has a long history of producing excellent cyclists and they look a strong group when looking ahead to Paris 2024.


An event dominated by Asian nations at the Olympics, with Canada coming good in four of the events in the Pan American games. Golds were won in three of the doubles events as well as in one of the singles.

Brian Yang was able to claim the gold on his own in the men’s singles while Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu won the women’s doubles, Adam Dong and Nyl Yakura repeated the feet in the men’s doubles and Ty Linderman and Josephine Wu picked up the mixed doubles, making it double gold for Wu.


It was the men who brought home the gold in Santiago when it came to gymnastics. The two winners who combined for three gold medals for Team Canada were Felix Dolci who was victorious in both the men’s artistic individual all around and the men’s floor where Zachery Clay landed the top spot in the men’s pommel horse.


Canoeing is one of those sports that you sit and watch at the Olympics, quite enjoy but then don’t seek it out again until it pops up four years later at the next Olympics! Four golds were won here by Team Canada. 

Michelle Russell was a solo champion, triumphing in the women’s K-1 500m. Ian Gaudet and Simon McTavish won the men’s K-2 500m, Alix Plomteux and Craig Spence the men’s C-2 500m plus there was Katie Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie in the women’s C-2 500m who also claimed gold medals.


Two gold medals were won in fencing. Dylan French fought his way to the men’s epee gold medal and the men’s sabre team also landed gold. French is the first Canadian to ever win his event and the first to win an individual gold in fencing for Team Canada since 2011. French also helped the men’s epee team to a silver medal.


There were a pair of gold medals in the diving, both won by Pamela Ware in the women’s 1m springboard and the women’s 3m springboard. Ware won the women’s 3m synchronised in the 2019 games in Lima, an event that she landed a silver in this time around in Santiago. She had also claimed a silver in the same event when the games were held in Toronto in 2015, the same year she claimed the runner-up spot at the World Championships in Kazan.


A pair of pugilists returned from Santiago with a gold medal around their neck. They were Tammara Thibeault in the women’s 75kg and Wyatt Sanford in the men’s 63.5kg. Thibeault enjoyed an excellent 2022, winning gold in both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.


There were nine other gold medals won with a single gold in each. The Women’s coxed eight landed a gold medal in rowing while Fay De Fazio Ebert scored in the roller sports, women’s park event in Santiago. She is a great story, just 13 years of age when she won gold (she turned 14 on 19 November) if she makes it to Paris, she will be the youngest Team Canada member at an Olympics since 1964 when Barbara Hounsell took to the pool. 

Skylar Park was part of a history making duo when she won the women’s 57kg taekwondo. Her brother Tae-Ku Park won a bronze medal, the first time that siblings have both picked up medals at a Pan American Games.

Dorien Llewellyn won the men’s overall water skiing, Tugrul Ozer Men’s 10m air pistol and Shady El Nahas the men’s 100kg judo. Lee Parkhill added a gold in sailing when he won the men’s sunfish Phil Wizard won the B-Boys breaking event.

Wizard is proving to be exactly that in the breakdancing world, winning gold in the World Championships in 2022 for Team Canada and the silver in the 2023 edition. The final gold medal to mention was in equestrian where the team eventing side claimed the top step of the podium as their own.

Parapan Games

At the time of writing the Parapan Games are still in progress in Santiago. Team Canada have won three gold medals here in the very early stages with the games starting November 17 and continuing until November 26.

Two of the three gold medals have come in para cycling. Alexandre Hayward won the men’s C1-5 combined, an ex hockey player who suffered a neck injury that ended that sport for him is a relative newcomer to para cycling but has quickly made his mark.

Nathan Clement won the mixed T1-2 tricycle event. He won the World Championships earlier this year in an individual time trial in the T1 class. Clement has also represented Canada in swimming in the past so he has enjoyed plenty of success for his country.

Ruby Stevens was the first gold medallist for Team Canada, winning the women’s S6 100m backstroke final. Just a twenty-one-year-old, she set a new games record for the event in the process.  

There is plenty of time to add to those medals before the end of the week when the games draw to an end. The growing presence of para sport has to be seen as a huge plus with the Canadians producing a strong show.

Paris 2024

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This is the ultimate aim for so many of the competitors taking part in the Pan American games for Team Canada. The 2024 Olympics will come from Paris next August from 26 July – 11 August and the prestige that comes with winning a medal there is unmatched anywhere else.

As things stand there are 137 places on the roster to take a seat on the plane next summer, though that could go up or down depending on how performances are over the coming months and whether qualifying times and distances are achieved. 

There were some excellent performances in Santiago that will have filled the selectors with confidence that the team are going to France with a string of excellent chances of bringing back a serious haul of gold with them.

First and foremost of them coming out of Santiago has to be Maggie Mac Neil. Already an Olympic champion at the age of just 20, she dominated the pool, winning five gold medals. She will be twenty-four by the time that Paris rolls round and should be at the peak of her career to take on the world again.

Also in the pool, Julie Brousseau has to be mentioned. To win a gold medal at the age of 17 with the pressure at this level was hugely impressive. Paris will be another level higher again but Brousseau will head there with high hopes. 

Both Sarah Mitton and Ethan Katzberg will have their events circled as genuine gold medal chances next year. Both of them have enjoyed a successful time of things in both 2022 and 2023 and in Katzberg’s case especially, is young enough that he might still have bigger and better performances still to come from him.

The gold medal performances from both Tammara Thibeault and Wyatt Sanford in the boxing has guaranteed them both a spot on the plane to Paris. The former especially will be considered an excellent medal hope for Team Canada. 

Overall, the 2023 Pan American Games was a huge success for Team Canada. A medal haul as big as this one for a games not held at home was hugely impressive and gives plenty of hope that there is enough talent for Paris 2024 to be a further continuation of the winning attitude here.

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