Man. Those Sportchek Olympics commercials they keep showing on CBC are terrifying me. The one where the narrator (spoken word poet Shane Koyczan) keeps asking questions about what we're willing to give, what we're willing to sacrifice, how far we can push, how much pain we can take... and on and on he goes. And he doesn't even leave us any room between questions to give any answers. Ease up, Shane! You've done it! You've beaten me down. Mercy! Stop! (Seriously, though, don't stop. Those are fantastic).
Here's what's up on Saturday, although all of it is really just a run up to the main Olympic event which is, of course, live coverage of the Tragically Hip's farewell concert in Kingston, Ontario. But we already know the outcome of that one; Gord Downie gets the gold. 8:30 pm ET, CBC. That may be the one flaw in The Hip's exhaustive, depth of the collective Canadian soul catalogue; They never did a song about the 4x100 metre relay team winning gold in Atlanta. I'd like to have heard that.
Day 15 (August 20th):
Rise and shine and go for a nice, peaceful, quiet paddle on the lake. Maybe a far off loon calling. Not. It's rage, rage, rage and keep churning, never stopping. Canoe and kayak races are centre stage and there won't be a cooler full of beer or beach ball in sight. Canada's Mark de Jonge is in the 200 metre kayak final and a Canadian women's foursome of Andréanne Langlois, Emilie Fournel, Genevieve Orton and KC Fraser take on the world in the 500 metre event. Coverage begins at 8 am ET, on CBC.
Good Canadian stories to watch in the women's mountain bike cross-country event, beginning at noon ET, on CBC. Catharine Pendrel is back after a disappointing 2012 Olympics. She entered as a favourite and finished ninth that year and has had to chew on that ever since, although she did win a world championship in 2014. Emily Batty broke a collarbone and a rib three days before the London 2012 race, competed anyway - Wait. What?! - and finished 24th. There's a chance that Canadians go gold, silver in this event, so it's worth a gander, I'd say.
Golfer Brooke Henderson had a rough third round on Day 14, and that means she has a steep hill to climb to grab a piece of the podium when she tees off in the fourth and final round. Henderson stands at 4-under par, seven strokes back of the leader, Inbee Park of South Korea. TSN2 has full coverage beginning at 6:00 am ET, with Henderson scheduled to tee off at 7 am ET while another Canadian, Alena Sharp (14 strokes off the lead), tees off at 6:11 am ET.
Time for a little break from the schedule, as I'd now like to present my favourite photo of the entire Olympics:
Who is she? Does she know Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee? Is that who she's waving to? Is she waving to the photographer? To us? She's so happy, the colours are so vivid, the framing is perfect. This is more than a race walk photo. This is high art and should be hanging in a museum in Manhattan. I call it "The Happy Bystander." Or maybe "The Gram-Gram From Ipanema" Or "I usually walk through here to get to the pool."
Back to the schedule...
Alyx Treasure leaps for Canada in the final of the women's high jump, beginning at 6:30 pm ET, on Sportsnet One.
Melissa Bishop flies the maple leaf in the final of the women's 800 metres on Saturday night. Sportsnet One, 7:15 pm ET.
The gold medal game in women's basketball is on tap at 2:30 pm ET, on Sportsnet. The heavily favoured United States takes on the not heavily favoured Spain.
Germany takes on Brazil in the gold medal men's soccer game. 4:30 pm ET, TSN2.
Hey! Guess what? Is there diving on Day 15? Yes there is because there's diving every day. Canada's Vincent Riendeau is into the semi-finals of the 10 metre platform event. Those go at 10 am ET, on CBC. Finals are scheduled for 3:30 pm ET, on CBC.
Note: This schedule has been provided by Ryan Lochte. That means it's quite possible there will be descrepancies between it and what actually occurs, so....