Melissa Humana-Paredes plays a ballDarren Calabrese/COC
Darren Calabrese/COC

Melissa Humana-Paredes


Melissa Humana-Paredes made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. She and her then-partner Sarah Pavan made it to the quarterfinals, matching Canada’s best-ever Olympic result in women’s beach volleyball.

In October 2022, it was announced that Humana-Paredes had formed a new partnership with Brandie Wilkerson, her former teammate at York University who had also been a quarterfinalist at Tokyo 2020 with her then-partner Heather Bansley. Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson made their debut as a duo on the Beach Pro Tour in February 2023. After reaching the quarterfinals in their first two Elite 16 tournaments, they finished third at the Elite 16 in Ostrava in early June. That was followed quickly by a first-place finish at the Challenge-level tournament in Jurmala. In late July, they earned their first Elite 16 gold medal on home sand in Montreal.

Humana-Paredes had played with Pavan since the spring of 2017. In 2019, they made history as Canada’s first ever world champions in beach volleyball, a victory that secured their spot at Tokyo 2020, though they would also finish atop the FIVB Olympic Ranking. At the end of 2019, they were named the FIVB Most Outstanding Female Beach Volleyball Team. Humana-Paredes was also named the FIVB’s Best Defensive Player and Best Setter, the latter for the second straight year.

In their time together, Humana-Paredes and Pavan also won gold medals at the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games. They were victorious in four top-level (Elite 16/5-star) FIVB World Tour/Beach Pro Tour events:  Porec (2017), Gstaad (2018), Vienna (2019), Jurmala (2022). In 2017, they posted fourth place finishes at the FIVB World Championships and World Tour Finals, after which Humana-Paredes was recognized as the Most Improved player on the FIVB World Tour.

Humana-Paredes’ played her first full season on the FIVB World Tour in 2014 with former partner Taylor Pischke. They posted a fifth-place finish at the Grand Slam event in Sao Paulo and won the NORCECA Continental Championship, all part of earning Humana-Parades Top Rookie honours from the FIVB. They went on to finish fourth at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Previously the duo had won back-to-back bronze medals at the 2013 and 2014 FIVB World Under-23 Championships. Humana-Parades was also a silver medallist at the 2011 World Junior Championships with partner Victoria Altomare.

A Little More About Melissa

Getting into the Sport: Started playing beach volleyball at age 12… Was exposed to the sport through her father Hernan and was hooked on the atmosphere as well as the fun, beautiful, and challenging nature of the sport… Hernan was the coach of John Child and Mark Heese who won beach volleyball bronze at Atlanta 1996… Brother Felipe was a national team athlete in beach volleyball… Outside Interests: Enjoys vlogging on her YouTube channel, playing board games, binge-watching TV shows… Loves going to concerts and supporting artists in small venues… Graduated in 2017 with a degree in Communications from York University where she played four years and was the school’s female athlete of the year in 2012… Studied at the Smith School of Business…. Was an assistant coach with the York Lions in 2017-18… Odds and Ends: Nickname: Mel… Inspired by her parents for moving to a new country and learning a new language to give her the best life she could ask for…  Good luck charms include an elephant necklace and a lapis lazuli four-leaf clover… Favourite motto: “A ship in the harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for”…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Tokyo 2020Beach VolleyballWomen5

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 5th (Pavan) Pan American Games: 2015 – 4th (Pischke) Commonwealth Games: 2022 – GOLD (Pavan); 2018 – GOLD (Pavan) FIVB World Championships: 2022 – 5th (Pavan); 2019 - GOLD (Pavan); 2017 – 4th (Pavan); 2015 – 9th (Pischke) FIVB World Tour Finals: 2021 – SILVER (Pavan); 2019 - 5th (Pavan); 2018 - 7th (Pavan); 2017 - 4th (Pavan) NORCECA Continental Championship: 2018 - 5th (Pavan) 2016 - GOLD (Broder); 2015 - BRONZE (Pischke) FIVB World Championships (U23): 2014 – BRONZE (Pischke); 2013 – BRONZE (Pischke) FIVB World Championships (junior): 2012 – 5th (Altomare); 2011 – SILVER (Pischke) FIVB World Championships (youth): 2010 – 9th (Cross); 2009 – 17th (Altomare)