Wow. It has been just over a week since the Olympic torch was extinguished in Tokyo, and I am still catching my breath. For 17 incredible days, we witnessed remarkable athletic feats, moving stories of sportsmanship, and saw the world united through the power of sport, positivity and hope, after 16 months of being separated by a global pandemic. Through our coverage on CBC/Radio-Canada, Canadians from across the country saw our athletes bring home a record-breaking 24 medals, including a record-breaking 7 gold medals. For 17 straight days, CBC was the most watched network in Canada among both 2+ and A25-54 television viewers. And, during the Games, ICI Télé was the number 1 network in French Quebec for 2+ and A25-54 television viewers.
When I look back on these Games, my first at CBC/Radio-Canada, I will think of the stories that came out of them. Starting with the incredible performances of our female athletes in week 1, including the 3 medals won by Penny Oleksiak, who, at 21 years of age, became the most decorated Canadian Olympian. Seeing Maude Charron win Canada's second gold medal of the Games in Weightlifting (64 kg) on Day 4 was an amazing feat of strength, determination and hard work. These women galvanized the nation, and set the tone for the rest of the Games. I'll remember watching Andre DeGrasse win his second medal of Tokyo 2020, a Gold in the 200m dash, all before 9 am EST. Seeing Damian Warner win the Gold in the Decathlon was inspiring and emotional, and then watching him connect with his family back home in London, Ontario reminded me that everything we do, we do for the ones we love. Laurence Vincent Lapointe, a two-time medallist in these Games for sprint canoeing, overcame such adversity to get to Tokyo and once there, she dominated the sport. And of course, seeing the joy on the faces of our Canadian women's soccer team when they won Gold in a shootout, will forever be with me.
Without our incredible partners helping us share these stories with Canadians, our athletes' remarkable achievements would have stayed in Tokyo, halfway across the world, many many time zones away. Every morning, Canadians would wake up with Kraft's “Good Morning Canada,” keep informed throughout the day with Toyota's “Tokyo Today,” wrap up the evening with Bell's “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” our nightly primetime performance segment, and celebrate daily feel good and uniting moments with Visa's “Olympic Moments.” We saw athletes connect with Olympian Anastasia Bucsis on RBC's nightly segment “Spotlight,” learned about our athlete's families back home through “Sobeys Family Album,” better understood the intense relationship between athlete and coach through Petro-Canada's “The Bond,” cheered on Canadian stories through Air Canada's #FlyTheFlag and celebrated our wins on the podium with Sport Chek's and Sport Exerts' presenting sponsorship of the medal ceremonies. I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all our partners, including; Egg Farmers of Canada, Gatorade, Asahi, Uber, OLG, Persil, IGA, SAAQ, Government of Quebec, Ameublements Tanguay, Les producteurs de lait du Québec and Ungava Gin. Without you, none of this would be possible.
And now, we turn our attention to Beijing 2022, only 6 months away. We look forward to bringing you the stories of our Winter Olympians, as they look to build upon an incredible performance in PyeongChang in 2018. As Canada's public broadcaster, our multi-platform approach to the Olympic Games is the only media that can deliver this level of excitement during these great sports moments. We hope that you will join us for this thrilling, emotional, and patriotic ride.
Sincerely, Donald Lizotte, General Manager and Chief Revenus Officer, CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions
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