Tokyo 2020: Gagné to carry Canadian judo medal hopes
Date: August 11, 2021
Priscilla Gagné will represent Canada in judo at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, as the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Judo Canada confirmed her selection to the Canadian Paralympic Team.
Gagné will be participating in her second Paralympic Games after making her debut at Rio 2016, where she placed fifth. The 35-year-old is currently ranked world No. 2 in the women’s up to 52kg category.
Her biggest results include claiming gold at the 2018 and 2020 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Pan American Championships and taking silver at both the Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games. She also became the first Canadian woman to earn a medal in judo at the World Championships, winning bronze at the 2018 event.
“It’s an honour to be named to the Canadian Paralympic Team,” said Gagné. “Since I was 10 years old, I have dreamt of attending the Games, and it is truly a gift to have the chance to do it for a second time at 35 years of age. It’s been a challenging year with the pandemic exposing certain inequalities, but the strength of unity among our Paralympic community and the encouragement of my coach Andrzej [Sadej], has proven to be enough to persevere and overcome yet another challenge.
Dreams are born, but we have to do the growing, and sometimes it hurts. But it is always worth it in the end.”
Gagné, an Ontario native, is set to compete in Tokyo on 27 August.
“Priscilla is a fighter, both on the judo mat and in daily life outside of sport,” said Andrzej Sadej, Para head coach, Judo Canada. “For me it is a privilege and an enriching experience to be part of her Paralympic journey.”
Canada has won four Paralympic bronze medals in the sport – three courtesy of Pier Morten in 2000, 1992, and 1988, and another from his brother Eddie Morten in 1988.
“I am so pleased to welcome Priscilla to the team for her second Paralympic Games,” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission, Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “Priscilla is a phenomenal athlete who I know has been working so hard to keep in top shape during a challenging year of limited access to training. I wish her all the best in Tokyo and can’t wait to cheer her on!”