Joelle Bekhazi was named to the junior national team at age 16, going on to compete at the 2005 and 2007 World Junior Championships. After moving up to the senior ranks, she helped Canada win silver at the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games. Bekhazi was part of two major medal-winning teams in 2009 as Canada captured a first-ever silver in the FINA Water Polo World League followed by silver at the FINA World Championships. Among her individual accomplishments are being named to the All-Star Team at the 2010 FINA World Cup and earning MVP honours at the 2013 UANA World Championship Qualification Tournament. Bekhazi played collegiately at the University of Southern California. In her first year in 2009, the Trojans lost in the NCAA final but a year later they brought home the victory, making Bekhazi the first Canadian to ever be a part of an NCAA champion water polo team.
Family: Parents Michel and Diane Bekhazi… Older sister Elie… Younger brother Daniel… Getting into the Sport: Started playing water polo at age 12 at the community outdoor pools on the West Island and participated in summer league for a few years before joining Dollard-des-Ormeaux Water Polo club in 2001… Had been swimming since age 6… Olympic dream began when she saw the women’s national team in their Canada gear at a clinic for kids on the West Island… Outside Interests: Graduated from USC in 2011 (Biological Sciences)… Completing Masters in Physiology at McGill University… Enjoys reading, knitting, catching up on TV… Works as the Canadian representative for Jolyn Clothing Inc…. Affiliated with the Comfy Cozy fund at Montreal Children’s Hospital… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “Every time you stay out later, every time you sleep in, every time you miss a workout, every time you don’t give 100%, you make it that much easier for your opponent to beat you”… Pre-game routine includes eating chicken and pasta with tomato sauce… Collects Starbucks city mugs from her travels… Nickname: Jo…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
PAG: 2011 – SILVER; 2007 – SILVER
FINA World League: 2014 – 6th; 2013 – 8th; 2012 – 7th; 2011 – 6th; 2010 – 8th; 2009 – SILVER; 2008 – 4th; 2005 – 6th
FINA WCh: 2013 – 8th; 2011 – 8th; 2009 – SILVER; 2007 – 6th
FINA WCup: 2010 – 5th; 2006 – 7th
FINA WCh (junior): 2007 – 10th; 2005 – 6th