Team Canada celebrates Olympic Day with one month to go until Tokyo 2020
TORONTO (June 23, 2021) – Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Marnie McBean issued the following statement with one month to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games:
“With just one month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there is a real sense of excitement and anticipation within the Canadian Olympic sport community. This is the final stretch where everything we have been through in our extended road to Tokyo pays off as we focus-in on the task at hand.
It’s so fitting that we are celebrating this milestone on Olympic Day which encourages people to get active and learn about the role that sport can play in our communities, while living the Olympic values. As expressed through Team Canada’s Glory from Anywhere campaign, Olympic athletes don’t own the values like resilience, respect, bravery and determination. Our shared expression of Olympic values has proven to be all the more vital through the pandemic.
Everyday for the past 18 months, we have learned about the powerful stories of community heroes and athletes alike who have demonstrated the courage it takes to get through some of the most challenging circumstances.
To date, Canada has qualified spots for over 340 athletes and counting. And while that is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, it is the stories from the community that have been inspirational.
Team Canada has currently qualified eight teams which is the most-ever in a non-boycotted Games. In swimming, 37-year-old Brent Hayden came back from a seven year retirement to qualify for Tokyo, while 14-year old Summer McIntosh swam multiple Olympic standards. She joins her own Olympic family as her mother Jill Horstead competed in swimming at Los Angeles 1984 and her sister Brooke competed in figure skating at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. In canoe slalom, Haley Daniels will make history as part of the first-ever cohort of female canoeists to compete at the Olympic Games. She is not the only one in the family who will make history however as her parent, Kimberly Daniels, will be the first openly transgender Olympic judge.
After training in a local hockey arena all winter, decathlete Damian Warner, who became a dad this year, was the first athlete to win the Hypo Meeting six times while surpassing his own Canadian record. And, while he won’t be representing Team Canada, Canada has done what it does best by coming together to help Iranian refugee Hamoon Derafshipour be nominated to the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020 for karate which makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
The past year has shown that it’s stories like these – stories of resilience, sacrifice and focus — that matter. That is why I believe that Tokyo will be a celebration not only of what Team Canada athletes have achieved but of what all Canadians have achieved.”