Olympic athletes past and present were quick to celebrate Canada’s first medal at the London Games.
Minutes after divers Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel won bronze Sunday in the women’s three-metre synchronized event behind China and the U.S., Twitter lit up with well wishers.
“Big congrats to @jennabel91 & @eheymans, first medal for Canada, and Em’s career 4th!! #GoCanada,” tweeted Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden, himself a three-time Olympic medallist who will be looking to get to the podium again in London.
The medal put Heymans, a 30-year-old from St. Lambert, Que., into the history books as the first female diver to reach the podium in four consecutive Olympics. For Abel, a 20-year-old from Laval, Que., it was her first medal at her second Games.
Chef de mission Mark Tewksbury savoured the bronze on Day 2 after Canada failed to get a medal until Day 8 of the Beijing Games four years ago.
“The highlight being... OUR FIRST MEDAL! So proud of @eheymans and @JennAbel91. They have lifted our team to be gr8ter,” tweeted the former Olympic gold medallist.
Tennis player Milos Raonic had his first-round match rained out, but that didn’t stop him from recognizing the accomplishment.
“Congrats @JennAbel91 & @eheymans on picking up Canada’s first medal. Great job! #GoTeamCanada,” tweeted the No. 25-ranked player in the world.
Former Canadian sprinter and Olympic gold medallist Bruny Surin also tweeted his congratulations in French.
At least one Winter Olympian also passed on her best wishes, with two-time medallist and moguls skier Jennifer Heil tweeting: “Big congratulations to @JennAbel91 and @eheymans on winning Canada’s 1st medal. With Emilie winning 4th medal in 4th Olympics!”
Meanwhile, one Canadian athlete had her wish come true on Twitter.
Dominique Pegg asked popstar Justin Bieber to wish her and her teammates good luck in Sunday’s team artistic gymnatistics qualifier.
“K @justinbieber I will be competing in the Olympics in a few hours now. I think its time that you say goodluck! #London2012 #TeamCanada :),” tweeted the 18-year-old Sarnia, Ont., native.
Bieber, who is originally from Stratford, Ont., didn’t respond before the event, but congratulated Pegg after her team qualified for the final in sixth place — a Canadian first.
“@domiP3gg sorry im late 2 the party. want to let you know as a proud canadian Im always supporting you and proud of you. STAND UP CANADA! :),” Bieber tweeted.
Pegg wasn’t the first Canadian Olympian looking for some love from the 18-year-old heartthrob.
Swimmer and fellow Stratford native Julia Wilkinson wanted some celebrity support ahead of Sunday’s women’s 100-metre backstroke.
“100 back tomorrow baby! Maybe my hometown boy @justinbieber will send me a good luck RT,” tweeted the 25-year-old Wilkinson on Saturday.
But Bieber never responded to Wilkinson’s request. She finished ninth in the heats, just 0.09 seconds back of qualifying for the final.