Julia Grosso jumps in celebration after scoring her gold medal winning goal in soccerAP Photo/Andre Penner
AP Photo/Andre Penner

Team Canada’s rising stars to watch on the road to Paris 2024

Canada had a strong podium showing at Tokyo 2020, but there were also a number of athletes who made us super excited about what they might do in the future.

With Paris 2024 only three years away, we thought we’d highlight some young and upcoming Canadians on the rise.

Team Canada Julia Grosso celebrates with teammate Jordyn Huitema
Team Canada Julia Grosso #7 celebrates with teammate Jordyn Huitema #19 after scoring the game winning goal in penalties Sweden to win the gold medal in women’s football during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday, August 06, 2021. Photo by Mark Blinch/COC

Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, Jayde Riviere  – Soccer

Before her literal golden goal in the women’s soccer final, 20-year-old midfielder Julia Grosso, along with Jayde Riviere and Jordyn Huitema were the three youngest players on Canadian roster. Playing in limited time during the Olympic tournament, the trio showed flashes of promise, representing the Canada’s bright future heading into the next Olympic Games

Grosso’s penalty shootout winner against Sweden to clinch Canada’s 3-2 gold medal victory may have solidified her name in Canadian soccer but also showed that the next wave of players are ready to perform in key moments on the international stage.

Canadian rower Trevor Jones competes in the Men’s Single Sculls during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Photo by Stephen Hosier/COC

Trevor Jones – Rowing

After two World U23 Rowing Championship titles in 2017 and 2018, Trevor Jones made his Olympic debut in the men’s single sculls competition. Winning his first qualification heat in dominant fashion, the 23-year-old sculler held his own against the Olympic competition, finishing second in the quarterfinal before qualifying for the B final.

As one of the youngest competitors in the event, Jones finished third in the B final to conclude his first Olympics in ninth place.

Pierce LePage competes in the decathlon pole vault competition.
Canadian Pierce Lepage competes in the Men’s Decathlon Pole Vault during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Thursday, August 05, 2021. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

Camryn Rogers, Justyn Knight, Pierce LePage – Athletics

A handful of athletes made their Olympic athletics debut at Olympic Stadium with strong performances to set themselves up for a promising Paris 2024.

Camryn Rogers, 22, showed her strength to the world in the women’s hammer final. The gold medallist from the 2018 U20 World Championships, Rogers only needed one throw to reach the final. Her mark of 74.35 metres in the final earned her fifth place.

On the track, Justyn Knight, 25, went stride for stride against the 5000m field, finishing in seventh place. Decathlete Pierce LePage, also just 25, continued to level-up, translating his 2019 World Athletics Championship finish of fifth place to the Olympic Games, earning a personal best 8604 points.

Summer McIntosh competes in the Women's 200m Freestyle
Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh competes in the Women’s 200m Freestyle during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Photo by Leah Hennel/COC

Summer McIntosh – Swimming

As the momentum built up in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Summer McIntosh showed Canadians across the country what was behind some of that hype, nearly earning a spot on the podium with her fourth-place finish in the women’s 400m freestyle.

At only 14 years old, the youngest member of Team Canada in Tokyo, McIntosh has already shown she can be a part of Canada’s dominance and could become a star on the podium in Paris by the time she’s the ripe old age of 17.

Sarah Douglas in her boat
Sarah Douglas competes in the Laser Radial event at Tokyo 2020 Photo courtesy: Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Sarah Douglas – Sailing

Sarah Douglas got her Olympic debut underway in the Laser Radial. She didn’t disappoint, qualifying for the Medal Race and ending up with a sixth place finish — the best by a Canadian woman in any individual Olympic sailing event.

She already has a gold medal from the 2019 Pan American Games and with Paris 2024 in her sights, she could find herself on the podium in her second Olympic Games.

Shaina Pellington #1 of Team Canada defends against Yvonne Anderson #12 of Team Serbia during the preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday, July 26, 2021. Photo by Leah Hennel/COC *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Aaliyah Edwards, Shaina Pellington, Laeticia Amihere – Basketball

The women’s basketball team may not have been able to showcase their full potential past the qualification round in Tokyo, but the experience could prove to be key in the leadup to Paris 2024.

Players like forward Aaliyah Edwards, guard Shaina Pellington, and forward Laeticia Amihere, all of whom played varying roles with Team Canada during the preliminary round, will be able to draw from their shortened Tokyo 2020 tournament, as they look to qualify for Paris in three years’ time.