A black and gold Olympics

Team Canada has had a bit of a local flavour this Olympic season. The University of Waterloo is represented at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi by two current students: ice dancing pair Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver, and by three alumni: cross-country skier Daria Giazova, Paralympic alpine skier Melanie Schwartz, and Vancouver gold medalist bobsledder Heather Moyse.

Though Olympic silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir claimed the headlines (and medals) this year, science student Andrew Poje and arts student Kaitlyn Weaver have had an excellent showing at the games. Though perennially second fiddle to the juggernaut that is Virtue and Moir, Weaver and Poje have always been contenders, with three consecutive national second-place finishes, and top five finishes in each of the last three world championships.

This year, at the most competitive and highest-scoring Olympic ice dancing competition ever, Weaver and Poje skated incredibly, stunning the commentators and crowd. Their short program earned a 65.93, and their free a 103.18, for a total of 169.11 and a seventh-place finish.

Melanie Schwartz competed in four events in Vancouver for Canada, but will be in Sochi in American colours. She graduated with a degree in computer science in 2008, and will start competing in March.

Daria Gaiazova was born in Russia, but has competed for Team Canada her entire career, having moved to Montreal as a child. She has a bachelor of science from UW, and finished 14th in the cross-country relay along with her teammates.

Kineseology graduate Heather Moyse is already part of the university’s Sports Hall of Fame, on the back of her outstanding bobsledding record.

Moyse, and her pilot Kaillie Humphries, took gold in Vancouver after a number of podium finishes in the previous few world cups and championships.

This year, with a pair of recent world cup golds, the two were favourites. Moyse and Humphries tore down the track fast, with a total time of 3:50.61, giving them a second straight Olympic gold medal.

It seems that black and gold are especially important Olympic colours this year.