Team Canada’s women’s water polo team seeks to make a splash at Paris 2024

At Paris 2024, Team Canada will be competing in women’s water polo for the second straight Olympic Games. Seven of the athletes who were with the team at Tokyo 2020 are back for another Olympic appearance while six athletes will make their Olympic debut. 

Eleven team members were with Team Canada in the fall of 2023 as they took home the silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile. This was the sixth silver medal in a row for Team Canada in women’s water polo at the Pan Am Games. While an impressive result, it was slightly bittersweet for the team, as anything less than gold couldn’t secure their qualification for Paris 2024. 

The team continued on to the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, knowing that it was their last opportunity to lock up back-to-back Olympic appearances. Team Canada finished eighth overall, which was not enough for an automatic qualification. However,  South Africa’s decision to decline their continental spot in Paris elevated Canada into a qualification position.

One of the most experienced athletes on the team is captain Emma Wright, a veteran of three Pan Am Games, meaning she has quite the collection of the aforementioned silver medals. Wright also competed at Tokyo 2020, scoring seven goals during the tournament. 

“As a team we have been working very hard moving towards the Olympic Games”, said Wright. “We have made lots of strides as a team and are hoping to be able to show that at the games. We are getting more and more excited as the days count down!”

A water polo player throws the ball
Axelle Crevier #3 of Canada plays the ball against Argentina in Women’s Water Polo during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Monday, October 30, 2023. Photo by Thomas Skrlj/COC

Also returning for their second Olympic Games are Axelle Crevier, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, Hayley McKelvey, Kindred Paul, Shae La Roche, and goalkeeper Clara Vulpisi. Lemay-Lavoie and McKelvey each scored seven goals apiece in Tokyo, while La Roche notched 10 goals and Crevier had eight. 

“The official selection of our team brings us closer to the beginning of the Olympic Games,” said Crevier. “We are very eager to begin the competition and are training tirelessly for Paris. In Paris, the atmosphere will definitely be different from Tokyo because we will have the chance to experience the Games with spectators, friends, and family.”

One of the newer members of the team is Marilia Mimides, who competed with Canada at the 2023 and 2024 World Aquatics Championships. Only she and La Roche – who was rehabbing a knee injury – were not on the silver medal-winning squad at Santiago 2023. 

Paris 2024 will mark the fourth time since women’s water polo made its Olympic debut at Sydney 2000 that Canada will compete in the tournament. After participating in the first two women’s Olympic water polo tournaments at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, there was a long wait before Team Canada made its return at Tokyo 2020. The team’s best result was during the sport’s debut in Australia, where the Canadian women finished fifth.

Women’s water polo will take place July 27 to August 11 at the Aquatics Centre and Paris La Defense Arena.

Team Canada Water Polo Athletes at Paris 2024

Verica Bakoc (Toronto, ON)

Serena Browne (Pointe-Claire, QC)

Axelle Crevier (Montreal, QC)

Jessica Gaudreault (Ottawa, ON)

Shae La Roche (Winnipeg. MC)

Rae Lekness (Calgary, AB)

Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (Montreal, QC)

Blaire McDowell (Fernie, BC)

Hayley McKelvey (North Delta, BC)

Marilia Eleni Mimides (Glyfada, GRE & Toronto, ON)

Kindred Paul (Spruce Grove, AB)

Clara Vulpisi (Montreal, QC)

Emma Wright (Whitby, ON)