Montreal Quebec athletes Beijing Winter Olympics

Montreal and Quebec athletes to cheer for at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

From hockey and short-track speed-skating to snowboarding and ice-dancing, Montrealers are representing and aiming for the podium.

It wasn’t long ago that we were cheering for Montreal athletes at the Olympics — six months to be exact. The Tokyo Summer Olympics, held one year late, had their challenges hosting the games during the pandemic. Here we are again with the Beijing Winter Olympics, where health measures are even more strict than they were Tokyo. Pandemic or not, this was still going to be an unusual Winter games. 

Beijing, which previously hosted the 2008 Summer games, doesn’t get much snow in winter, requiring the production of a lot of artificial snow. They also face greater resistance when it comes to China’s human rights records. Eight countries, including Canada, are part of a diplomatic boycott and has not sent any delegates to the Games. While questions around the ethics of joining the Beijing Olympics continue to weigh on the minds of Canadians, for the athletes the games present the culmination of years of training. 

Politics and the pandemic aside, these athletes will be competing at the highest level despite these obstacles so we should embrace their personal bests, medal finishes and ability to compete (while avoiding a positive COVID test). Canada has sent 215 athletes — 106 women and 109 men. Quebec has sent 57 athletes with some Montrealers in the Olympic mix. Get ready to cheer them on, but bear in mind the 13-hour time difference. 

Montreal and Quebec athletes to cheer for at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Women’s hockey is exciting. Period. As we learned from the Canada/USA gold medal game in Pyeongchang, it gets intense whenever these teams play each other. Team Canada is on a mission to reclaim the gold after losing to the USA in a sudden death shootout. After winning the IIHF World Championships in overtime last Summer, Canada is hungry for gold.  As we wait for the return of women’s hockey in Montreal (there has been talk of an expansion team with the Premier Hockey Federation), we can cheer on the former players of les Canadiennes on Team Canada. The team is led by Captain, top scorer and overtime hero Marie-Philip Poulin, 2021 World Champion MVP Melodie Daoust and goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer. The women already began their medal journey against Switzerland with a 12–1 win on Feb. 2, and will play Finland on Feb. 5 (that’s Feb. 4 at 11:10 p.m. ET). Notably, Canada plays the USA in round robin on Feb. 8. 

The men’s hockey tournament was to feature NHL players but because of a rise in COVID cases that affected the NHL schedule, they were unable to participate.  A mix of former NHLers playing in European leagues, the KHL and junior and college players make up Team Canada and the other teams competing. The Montreal Canadiens may be having a dismal season but there are five former players competing for Team Canada, namely Vancouver 2010 Gold Medalist and Team Canada captain Eric Staal, centreman David Desharnais, forwards Daniel Carr, Jordan Weal and defenceman Mark Barberio. Montrealers on Team Canada are 2018 bronze medalist Maxim Noreau, defenceman Jason Demers and goaltender and 2021 World junior silver medalist Devon Levi. Canada will start their tournament against Germany on Feb. 10.

Montreal and Quebec athletes to cheer for at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Canada has a number of medal contenders and newcomers competing in short-track speed-skating, the winter version of roller derby. Montrealer Alyson Charles will be making her Olympic debut and has been medalling on the World Cup circuit since 2018–’19. Pascal Dion hopes to add to the Bronze medal won in Pyeongchang in the 3000m relay and Maxime Laoun will be making his Olympic debut. They may not be official Montrealers but cheer on for Pyeongchang triple medalist Kim Boutin as she hopes to add to her medal collection, as well as short-track speed-skating legend Charles Hamelin, who will be competing in his fifth Olympics. You can check out short-track speed-skating events on Feb. 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 16.

In long-track speed-skating, check out 2021 500m World Champion Laurent Dubreuil from Lévis, Quebec. He’s a medal favourite in the 500m and 1000m sprints. You can watch the men’s 500m on Feb. 12 and men’s 1000m on Feb. 18. 

Quebec athletes have dominated the freestyle skiing circuit especially in moguls. Our favourite Montreal siblings the Dufour-Lapointe sisters return for another Olympics. 2014 gold and 2018 silver medalist Justine Dufour-Lapointe will be competing at her third games while 2014 silver medalist Chloe Dufour-Lapointe will be at her fourth Olympics. All eyes will be on moguls king and Deux-Montagnes native Michael Kingsbury as the three time World Cup champion will defend his 2018 gold. Men’s and Women’s qualification starts on Feb. 3 with the Men’s final on Feb. 5 and the Women’s final on Feb. 6.
Montreal and Quebec athletes to cheer for at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

A mix of experience and new blood make up Canada’s snowboarding team. Longueuil native Elizabeth Hosking returns in her second games ,competing in the halfpipe after earning a couple top 5 finishes on the World Cup circuit. The Women’s Halfpipe qualification is on Feb. 8, the final on Feb. 9.  Newcomer Jules Lefebvre, after making his debut at the world championships in 2021, will be at his first games in Parallel Giant slalom. Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom qualification is Feb. 7, with the finals on Feb. 8. There’s great medal contention in both the Slopestyle and Big Air competitions that feature both 2018 Slopestyle silver medalist (and Bromont native) Max Parrot and Big Air 2018 gold medalist (and l’Assomption native) Sebastien Toutant.  Men’s Slopestyle qualification starts Feb. 5, with the final on Feb. 6. Men’s Big Air qualification starts Feb. 14, with the final on Feb. 15. 

Some familiar and new faces will be figure skating into our hearts during the Olympics.  Montrealer Laurence Fournier Beaudry makes up one half of the ice-dancing duo with partner Nikolaj Soerensen. The couple train in Montreal and have won bronze medals at Grand Prix events and finished second at the Nationals in January.  Fournier Beaudry/Soerensen are one of three ice dancing couples skating for Canada. Ice dancing starts Feb. 12, with the free dance on Feb. 14. And after competing for France in the last three Olympics, Montreal pairs skater Vanessa James came out of retirement in 2021 and will be skating for Canada with a new partner in 2018 pairs Bronze medalist Eric Radford. We’ll see what their experience will bring to the pairs competition. The short program is on Feb. 18 and the free skate on Feb. 19. 

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics run from Feb. 4–20. For the broadcast schedule, please visit the CBC website.

For more Montreal sports coverage, please visit our Sports section.