Muyres 2020 Reflection

Olympic hopeful Muyres looks back on 2020

Saskatoon StarPhoenix, December 17, 2020

Olympic curling hopeful Kirk Muyres of Team Dunstone was invited by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post to submit a personal essay to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five-time Saskatchewan men’s curling champion explains what he learned throughout the year.

Read full Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post story

Coakwell trains during COVID

Canadian bobsledder Ben Coakwell turned garage into gym

CBC, November 27, 2020
Photo Credit: International Bobsleigh Federation

Two-time Olympian Ben Coakwell wasn’t going to let COVID-19 stop him from training.

The Team Canada brakeman from Moose Jaw converted his garage into a home gym. The renovations inspired fellow Olympians.

Watch the full story on CBC.ca

2022 Qualification

How do athletes qualify?

Olympic.ca, October 21, 2020

Qualification for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games has already begun!

Olympic.ca provides a rundown of how Team Canada athletes will qualify.

Read Olympic.ca Qualification Story

Hudak continues training

Unusual season isn’t derailing Para Nordic skiier

Paralympic.ca, November 16, 2020
Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

It isn’t the season that Brittany Hudak was expecting, but it isn’t going to stop the Para nordic skier from Prince Albert.

Hudak, a bronze medallist in the 12.5-kilometre biathlon at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, continues to train and prepare in this pre-Paralympic year locally. She isn’t ruling out hope international competition can happen.

“I’m trying to stay positive through all of this,” she told Paralympic.ca. “I can’t get my hopes too high though since we don’t know what we’re going into. Everything changes day to day.”

Read full story on Paralympic.ca

Flasch returns home

Biggar’s Flasch forms team

Global Saskatoon, May 1, 2020
Photo Credit: Piper Sports Photography (Tanner Piper)

Biggar’s Colton Flasch has spent the last two curling seasons throwing second stones for Olympian and World Champion Kevin Koe in Alberta. Now, he’s returning home to form a team in his home province.

Flasch reunited with brothers Dan and Kevin Marsh and added Catlin Schneider to the rink. The group is eyeing a spot at the Canadian Olympic Trials set for Saskatoon in November 2021.

Full story by Global Saskatoon’s Ryan Flaherty

Tokyo 2020 games postponed

COC and CPC thank IOC for its decision to postpone Games to 2021

Canadian Paralympic Committee, March 24, 2020

IOC has given Tokyo hopefuls worldwide the clarity they need about the immediate future

TORONTO/OTTAWA – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) issued the following statement on Tuesday in reaction to the conclusion made by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, and Japanese Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020:

The COC and CPC would like to thank President Thomas Bach, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee for this decision which continues to show their commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of athletes and the world community.

We also renew our commitment to work with the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring.

With this postponement, the IOC has given Tokyo hopefuls worldwide the clarity they need about the immediate future, so we can all concentrate on our collective health and wellbeing and take all necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

We are confident that when the time comes, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee will deliver a world-class Games that celebrates the Olympic and Paralympic values and unites and inspires the world. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have long been a symbol of hope and Tokyo 2020 will be a celebration of all that we now seek to overcome. There may be no better way to move on from this most difficult time than seeing the world brought together through sport the way only a Games can. 

We are incredibly proud of the leadership and resilience that our athletes, National Sport Organizations, partners and the Canadian sport community have demonstrated in these unprecedented times. While postponement comes with its own set of challenges, Team Canada will rise to the challenge to showcase our very best on the international stage.

Kramer headed to Paralympics

Saskatoon’s Eric Kramer has been selected as a para swimming coach for the Tokyo 2020 team.

Swimming Canada, February 19, 2020
Photo Credit: Swim Saskatchewan

OTTAWA – The Canadian Paralympic team for Tokyo 2020 continued to take shape on Monday with the nomination of three award-winning coaches to the squad that will compete at the 16th Summer Paralympic Games from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

Eric Kramer, Marc-André Pelletier and Mike Thompson join a group of seven athletes who were nominated for the Canadian delegation last September following the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London.

Kramer, Pelletier and Thompson have all merited national coaching awards from Swimming Canada over the past two seasons.

“I’m very glad to have Mike, Eric and Marc-André declare their availability and interest in joining our team for the Tokyo Games. As home coaches of swimmers already achieving nomination for the team, I know they have the skills and experience to do the job,” said Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada’s Associate Director of High Performance and Para Swimming National Coach. “Coaches play an incredibly important role in facilitating peak performance of swimmers and all three have demonstrated their ability to help swimmers, not just from their own training groups, to achieve their very best on the day that matters.

“In making these appointments now, I’m looking to provide our coaches and swimmers with certainty in their preparations. I’m confident in the abilities of Marc-André, Eric and Mike.”

Kramer, who earned back-to-back Swimming Canada Coach of the Year (Female Para-swimmer) recognitions in 2017 and 2018, will make his Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo.

At the helm of the Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club since 2015, he was part of the Canadian coaching staff at London 2019 where two of his athletes competed, including Shelby Newkirk, who captured silver in the women’s 100-m backstroke S7.

Earlier in his career, Kramer was the personal coach of Olympic bronze medallist Patricia Noall (Seoul 1988) and Olympian Martine Dessureault (Atlanta 1996). He was also an assistant coach for Canada at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Read the full story on Swimming Canada

Women’s basketball team qualifies for Tokyo 2020

The Canadian women’s squad went 3-0 at the qualifying tournament.

Canada Basketball, February 8, 2020
Photo Credit: Canada Basketball/Victory

OSTEND, BELGIUM – The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team are headed to Tokyo. With an 80-50 victory over Sweden on Saturday, the squad punched their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Olympic Basketball Competition. 

Natalie Achonwa finished with a game-high 16 points to lead all scorers in a balanced scoring effort from Canada. Achonwa shot 8-for-9 from the floor and added eight rebounds. Shaina Pellington added 11 points while Miranda Ayim and Kia Nurse each scored 10 points. Canada received 43 points from its bench, with Pellington leading the way. Frida Eldebrink led Sweden in the loss with 14 points while Kalis Loyd added 12. 

“We’ve experienced the whole gamut of qualification,” head coach Lisa Thomaidis said. “A last minute, grind it out [qualification] in 2012, the last possible berth we eked out. Then onto 2016, where we took care of business in Canada and got it done, now for the first time in our tenure, to do it on foreign soil. I just said to the team, to qualify with a 30-point victory is pretty special. I think it really speaks to how far this team has come. I couldn’t be happier for this team and these players.”

Full Canada Basketball story

Close to qualifying

The Senior Women’s National Team is ready to hit the court in Belgium.

Canada Basketball (Holly MacKenzie), February 3, 2020
Photo Credit: Canada Basketball/Victory

Ostend, Belgium — Team Canada is in Ostend, Belgium this week for a FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament where they will play three games (Feb. 6 – Feb. 9), with the team looking to advance to a third consecutive Olympic Games. With a full roster on hand and players arriving from near and far to suit up for Canada, the team is excited to get things underway.

“With the Belgium qualifier for us, it’s really becoming real,” head coach Lisa Thomaidis said.  “Anytime we get a chance to get our whole team together and get a glimpse of what is possible, the level of play we’re going to be able to put on the floor, that part is really fun. Our players really look forward to getting back together and just seeing what we can do out there. They love hanging out and reconvening and reconnecting after time spent away. It’s going to be fun.”

Much of the team’s roster is scattered across the globe playing professionally.  Players have traveled to Belgium from Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Russia, among other places, for the chance to represent Canada in this tournament and hopefully secure a spot in Tokyo this summer.

“It’s a long journey for sure,” Thomaidis said. “I can’t wait to get back out there and show what we have and express the strength that we do have on this team.”

Full Canada Basketball story

Shaw looking to qualify

Last chance to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Canadian Paralympic Committee, January 16, 2020 Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

MILTON, Ont. – Tristen Chernove and veteran rider Marie-Claude Molnar headline Canada’s team for the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships from January 30 to February 2 in Milton, Ont., at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre
 
It is the first time the championships will be held in Canada.
 
More than 160 athletes from 32 countries are expected to compete including a six-member Canadian team.
 
Chernove, from Cranbrook, B.C., has earned at least one medal at every track worlds since 2016 including three at the last three worlds. In 2019, he won a gold, silver and bronze repeating his performance from 2018.

Also on the men’s side for Canada are individual pursuit world record holder Ross Wilson of Edmonton and visually impaired rider Lowell Taylor of Calgary and pilot Ed Veal of Toronto, a former national team rider.
 
For the women, Molnar, a two-time Paralympian from St-Hubert, Que., is joined by Keely Shaw of Midale, Sask., who is vying for her first Games appearance later this summer in Tokyo.
 
The track worlds are the last opportunity to qualify for the Paralympics in the track events.

Full Canadian Paralympic Committee story