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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Hundreds participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Two people on a paddleboard take advantage of a calm Cultus Lake on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Forecast calls for lots of sun in Fraser Valley this coming week

Most of next seven days will be sunny for eastern Fraser Valley, according to Environment Canada

gdffdg
Mission’s Fraser Valley Music Award winners credit hometown with fostering musical talent

Rebecca Sichon won the pop-category award; Roads Unknown took home the roots-category award

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Most Read