In my own words…Erica Gavel

Wheelchair basketball star Erica Gavel chronicles her journey to return to the Paralympic Games with Team Canada in 2020. The Ph.D student from Prince Albert will share how she balances her studies with training, her focus on returning to the Games, her passion for Saskatchewan and her excitement leading into Tokyo 2020.


January 6, 2020

My name is Erica Gavel and I am a member of the senior women’s wheelchair basketball national team. I am proud to be a Paralympian, who attended the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Summer Games.

Over the last three years, my team has been focused on obtaining a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Games and, fortunately, we did that this summer by winning gold at the 2019 Lima Parapan Am Games. This experience has been one of my favourites in my career, I am now focused on helping my team reach our potential and medalling in Tokyo.

“I, personally, learned a lot about high performance, what it takes to do well at that level and how important it is to take games one day at a time.”

Erica Gavel, on her 2016 Paralympic experience

Rio was a great experience and I have amazing memories.  Although my team did not reach our goals in Rio, I, personally, learned a lot about high performance, what it takes to do well at that level and how important it is to take games one day at a time.

Looking ahead to Tokyo, I have and will implement a lot of lessons learned from Rio. Coming home from those Games, I modified my training, my perspective, and approached things differently. Since Day 1, I have been fixated on being the best I can be on the court and in life.

While high performance sport is hard, it is important to find the fun and inspiring part about competing at that level  —  especially, when waking-up at 5 a.m. to train.

I am the most motivated I have ever been. Given that we have officially qualified and Tokyo is still months away, I am trying to take things one day at a time and enjoy the process. From my perspective, the journey is much more important than the outcome.

But the Games cannot come soon enough!


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