Kim Gaucher takes the ball to the hoop in 2015 Pan Am Games basketball action in Toronto.

Kim Gaucher takes the ball to the hoop in 2015 Pan Am Games basketball action in Toronto.

Gaucher wins gold at Pan Am Games

Mission product becomes part of Canadian women's basketball history.

Kim Gaucher has come a long way.

From Mission basketball product to 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist, the 31-year-old guard summarized the latest victory as a historic win for the Canadian women’s national team — and it certainly was.

This is the first gold medal finish for the Canadian women’s basketball team at the Pan Am Games. They last medaled at the Games in 1999, in Winnipeg, where they lost to Cuba in the finals to claim silver. The Canadian women’s team has only won one other major international competition, which was in the 1995 FIBA Americas Championship.

On Monday, Canada toppled the Americans, 81-73, in the women’s Pan Am basketball final in front of a sold out crowd at Ryerson Athletic Centre in Toronto.

“This was the first time playing in Canada on such a stage,” said Gaucher, who tallied five points and five rebounds, shooting 33 per cent from the field.

“To have the crowd there, chanting, it was great. The atmosphere [was] intoxicating. There were even scalpers,” she said, laughing.

Gaucher said, the tournament’s scheduling was tough in that they played five games in five days, from July 16 to 20.

The women went undefeated, finishing 3-0 through preliminaries before downing Brazil, 91-63 in the semi-finals. Gaucher finished with a 7.4 points-per-game average and 27 rebounds through the tournament.

And though they met the U.S. in the final, she contends Cuba, who Canada beat by a slim three-point margin in the preliminaries, was the team’s most difficult opponent.

“Athletic plus savviness,” she said to describe the Cuban squad.

CEO of the BC Games Society, Kelly Mann, said, “The strength of the provincial sport system is evident as we see the progression of athletes towards events like the Pan American Games,” adding, “We know that our alumni draw upon that experience as they represent Canada at international Games.”

Mann’s comment is undoubtedly on par with Gaucher’s experience.

She recalls her time playing in the 1998 BC Summer Games in Ridge-Meadows.

“Being in any multi-sport tournament, sleeping in quarters with other athletes, it’s so much fun. I have fond memories of the Games,” said Gaucher.

“That kind of exposure at a young age helped me prepare for bigger events as the stage just keeps getting bigger.”

The Mission native competed at the 2014 FIBA world championship, the FIBA Americas in 2013 as well as the London 2012 Olympic Games, among other renowned events.

She currently plays professional basketball in France, in the country’s top women’s league, for club ASPTT Arras.

Next up for the Canadian women’s team is the FIBA Americas being held in Edmonton. It is the closest opportunity for the squad to punch their ticket to the 2016 Olympics and with the home crowd advantage, it may prove the best opportunity as well.

Just Posted

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

(Pixabay Image)
Monday’s top temperature topples record in Agassiz

Temps reached into the low 30s to break records in Agassiz, Environment Canada says

Tourism Abbotsford has launched the ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign to encourage visitors to check out all Abbotsford has to offer. (Tourism Abbotsford photo)
Tourism Abbotsford launches ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign

Visitors encouraged to check out all Abbotsford has to offer this summer

Temperature records were broken for June 21, 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Record-breaking heat shimmered across Fraser Valley for second day

Tuesday should be a bit cooler says forecast from Environment Canada

Emil Anderson Maintenance is mowing the shoulder along Lougheed Highway in Agassiz, asking motorists to use extra caution around slow-moving vehicles on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Graphic/Emil Anderson Maintenance)
TRAFFIC: Slow-moving mowers working on Highway 7 shoulders in Agassiz on Tuesday, Wednesday

Mowing takes place Tues., Weds. between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk at school and in the community was identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in December that Surrey’s new hospital will be located in Cloverdale, next to KPU. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
Health minister expects construction of Surrey’s new hospital in Cloverdale to begin in 2023, open in 2027

Adrian Dix spoke Tuesday in a Zoom meeting hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade concerning the new hospital

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Most Read