Canada name Tokyo 2020 goalball team
Date: June 25, 2021
The Canadian women’s goalball team is preparing to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games this summer, as the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Canadian Blind Sports Association (CBSA) announced the six athletes named to the national roster.
Half of the team has Paralympic experience, with team captain Amy heading to her fourth Paralympic Games, Whitney Bogart set to make her third appearance, and Meghan Mahon competing at her second Paralympic Games. Three athletes will be making their Paralympic debuts – Brieann Baldock, Emma Reinke and Maryam Salehizadeh.
“I am honoured to lead the Canadian women’s goalball team as team captain at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics,” said Burk. “Getting to wear the maple leaf and represent your country at the highest level on the international stage is one of the greatest feelings you can ever experience – whether it’s your first Paralympics, or your fourth, that feeling never gets old. It has been a very challenging year during the pandemic, and it is with great pride and joy I get to share this adventure with not only my teammates, but with my family and the rest of the country.”
The Canadian women most recently captured a bronze medal at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games. They finished fourth at the last International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball World Championships, held in 2018, and earned a sixth-place result at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be named to the team to represent Canada at the Paralympics in Tokyo,” said Baldock. “It’s been my dream to make it to the Paralympics and I’m thankful to have gotten there with this amazing team, support staff and coach behind me. My hard work has paid off and I’m so blessed to have an opportunity to show the world what Canada can bring on the world stage. I’m excited for the Paralympic experience and the genuine pride of representing my county and this team.”
Canada will compete in round-robin action alongside RPC, Israel, China, and Australia. The second pool of the women’s tournament is comprised of Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, USA, and Japan. Canada will open its campaign on 25 August against RPC, with the goalball competition running until 3 September.
“This will be my second Paralympics as a coach. I learned a lot from Rio 2016 and hope to build on that experience,” said Trent Farebrother, head coach, women’s national goalball team. “The women’s goalball programme has gone through considerable change on and off the court and I am very confident that this will translate into a successful Tokyo 2020 outcome. Everyone has worked very hard during these difficult and challenging times and are excited to resume goalball competitions.”
Canada is a four-time Paralympic medallist in the sport of goalball, with the women’s team earning back-to-back gold medals in 2000 and 2004 as well as a silver in 1984, and the men’s squad securing a silver in 1996. The men’s team did not qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“A huge congratulations to all six selected goalball athletes!” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission of the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “I am so happy to welcome each of them to the Canadian team. I know how hard they have worked to get to this point, and can’t wait to support them in Tokyo.”
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games Canadian women’s goalball team
Brieann Baldock – Edmonton, AB
Whitney Bogart – Marathon, ON
Amy Burk – Charlottetown, PEI
Meghan Mahon – Timmins, ON
Emma Reinke – St. Thomas, ON
Maryam Salehizadeh – Vancouver, BC