Golf Canada announces 2021 National Amateur and Junior Squads
OAKVILLE, Ont. – Golf Canada is pleased to announce the names of the 29 athletes, male and female, who have been selected to represent Team Canada as part of the 2021 National Amateur and Junior Squads.
Fifteen athletes will compete on Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad, consisting of eight players on the men’s squad and seven on the women’s squad.
The announcement marks a significant increase in roster size, adding six athletes to the previous year’s team. The roster expansion is due in large part to a restructuring of team resources in addition to increased funding support from the Golf Canada Foundation’s network of Trustee partners.
“We are very pleased to extend the reach of the Team Canada program to support more of the country’s top athletes,” said Derek Ingram, Head Coach of the National Men’s Squads. “The new program structure allows our coaching staff to focus more resources on training and sport science with each athlete’s individual results used to determine their respective competitive schedule.”
Team Canada’s 2021 Squad members have all competed and achieved impressive results at regional, national, and international competitions, including medals at the Pan-Am Games, NCAA tournament wins and victories at prestigious amateur competitions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all athletes from the 2020 Squad were able to return in 2021, provided they met team eligibility criteria.
“We are very excited with the athletes selected – they represent a mix of returning team members as well as talented up-and-coming athletes,” said Tristan Mullally, Head Coach of the National Women’s Squads. “It is a new chapter for amateur golf in Canada and we have a tremendous group of ambassadors representing our country.”
The following athletes have been selected to Team Canada’s 2021 Amateur Squad:
WOMEN’S AMATEUR SQUAD
Taylor Kehoe | Strathroy, Ont. – West Haven Golf & Country Club
Alisha Lau | Richmond, B.C. – Marine Drive Golf Club
Noémie Paré | Victoriaville, Qué. – Club de golf de Victoriaville
Mary Parsons | Delta, B.C. – Mayfair Lakes Golf Club
Sarah-Ève Rhéaume | Québec, Qué. – Club de golf Royal Québec
Brigitte Thibault | Rosemère, Qué. – Club de golf de Rosemère
Brooke Rivers | Brampton, Ont. – Brampton Golf Club
MEN’S AMATEUR SQUAD
Matthew Anderson | Mississauga, Ont. – Credit Valley Golf & Country Club
Cougar Collins | Caledon, Ont. – TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley
Laurent Desmarchais | Longueuil, Qué. – Club de golf de la Vallée du Richelieu
Noah Steele | Kingston, Ont. – Cataraqui Golf & Country Club
Henry Lee | Coquitlam, B.C. – Public Player
Brendan MacDougall | Calgary, Alta. – Glencoe Golf and Country Club
Étienne Papineau | St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qué. – Club de golf Pinegrove
Johnny Travale | Hamilton, Ont. – Glendale Golf & Country Club
Click here to read full player bios.
National Junior Squads
The National Junior Squad—a U19 program—features fourteen athletes (seven girls and seven boys).
In September, Golf Canada hosted a selection camp at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, B.C., to evaluate Canada’s top juniors. In partnership with the Provincial Golf Associations, all golfers were run through a series of testing modules followed by a 54-hole competition.
From March through early June, the Junior Squad will practice out of Golf Canada’s National Training Centre at Bear Mountain—the fourth year that the program has provided centralized training, accommodation and education for athletes during the second semester of their school year. Team members will be immersed in a focused centre of excellence, surrounded by world-class technical coaching staff and experts in the areas of mental performance, physiotherapy, biomechanics, and nutrition.
The following athletes have been selected to Team Canada’s 2021 Junior Squad:
JUNIOR GIRLS SQUAD
Angela Arora | Surrey, B.C. – Beach Grove Golf Club
Katie Cranston | Oakville, Ont. – Oakville Golf Club
Nicole Gal | Oakville, Ont. – Oakville Golf Club
Jennifer Gu | West Vancouver, B.C. – Seymour Golf & Country Club
Lauren Kim | Surrey, B.C. – Morgan Creek Golf Club
Michelle Liu | Vancouver, B.C. – Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club
Emily Zhu | Richmond Hill, Ont. – National Pines Golf Club
JUNIOR BOYS SQUAD
Willy Bishop | Victoria, B.C. – Victoria Golf Club
Félix Bouchard | Otterburn Park, Que. – Club de golf de la Vallée du Richelieu
Malik Dao | Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Qué. – Summerlea Golf & Country Club
Ashton McCulloch | Kingston, Ont. – Cataraqui Golf & Country Club
Owen Mullen | Shortts Lake, N.S. – Truro Golf Club
JP Parr | St-Célestin, Qué. – Club de golf Ki-8-eb Golf
Hunter Thomson | Calgary, Alta. – Glencoe Golf & Country Club
Click here to read full player bios.
Team Canada Coaching Staff Announced
Golf Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Team Canada coaching staff that will support both the National Amateur and Junior Squads.
For the amateur squads, Derek Ingram of Winnipeg returns as men’s head coach with support from assistant coach Andrew Parr of London, Ont. On the women’s side, Tristan Mullally of Dundas, Ont., returns as head coach.
On the junior side, Robert Ratcliffe of Comox, B.C., will lead the centralized Junior Squads at the National Training Centre in Bear Mountain for the fourth year. He will receive support from newly named coach Jennifer Greggain, also of Comox, B.C.
Players will have access to Team Canada’s sport science staff, which includes physiotherapist Greg Redman and Psychologist Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood supporting the men’s team with physiotherapist Andrea Kosa and mental performance consultant Christie Gialloreto supporting the women. The Junior Squads will continue to receive sport science support from the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific in the areas of strength & conditioning, physiotherapy, mental performance, and nutrition.
“Team Canada has shown tremendous success and the coaching staff is well-positioned to lead the increased roster of athletes along with the centralized training program at Bear Mountain,” said Laurence Applebaum, Golf Canada Chief Executive Officer. “Along with every area of the business, we will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 to ensure the health and well-being of the athletes and coaches. We now look ahead to helping shape the bright futures of Canada’s top up-and-coming athletes looking to follow in the footsteps of graduates such as Brooke Henderson, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes.”
Mullally, Ingram, Ratcliffe, Greggain and Parr are all PGA of Canada members.
Golf Canada will announce the selection of the 2021 Team Canada Young Pro Squad in January.]]>
Golf Canada's juniors will put emphasis on team mentality
Jennifer Greggain was announced as the newest member of the coaching staff for Golf Canada’s junior teams last Thursday, working with head coach Robert Ratcliffe. She said that instilling a sense of camaraderie among her pupils is a priority for the 2021 squad.
“When you bring this talent together and bring them to one place, this opportunity to train together and help each other get better, that’s really unique and one of the biggest opportunities for this program and our juniors,” said Greggain, who added that when she was a high-level amateur she would loved to have been around other elite golfers her age.
Greggain has a wealth of experience to draw from, having played on the LPGA and Symetra Tours for 10 years before becoming a coach.
“When I retired from tour, I realized pretty quickly that what I wanted to do when I grew up was to coach,” said Greggain with a laugh.
Greggain was the director of instruction at Chilliwack Golf Club, the assistant coach for the University of the Fraser Valley, and led the B.C. Summer Games Squad on numerous occasions.
In January she joined the national team program as assistant coach of the women’s amateur and young pro squads with Tristan Mullally before she transitioned into her new role.
Greggain will help guide mental performance, physiotherapy, biomechanics and nutrition for the Canada’s top golfers while she continues her studies at the University of British Columbia’s Master of High Performance and Technical Leadership program.
The junior teams – boys and girls will train together – will be based at the national training centre at Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria, which going forward will have a centralized component from March through June. Athletes will stay at the national training centre during their second semester at high school.
“I really like the model of the junior program because we have this centralized component which gives you a little more consistent contact,” said Greggain.]]>
Team Canada's Brigitte Thibault is in pursuit of excellence
Captured at Legacy Golf Club on November, 30, 2019 by Tyler Costigan/ Golf Canada
Brigitte Thibault has established herself as one of the country’s most promising amateurs.
Since the spring of 2019, the native of Rosemère, Que., has been playing some the best golf of her career.
After being selected as the only Canadian to compete at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April of 2019, Thibault would go on to win the Ontario Women’s Amateur title and the Mountain West Conference Championship.
The second year Amateur Squad member is also a standout at Fresno State University. She’s carried the success from 2019 over to her junior year, having recorded six NCAA top ten finishes.
However, in early March, her collegiate season came to an end when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of the remaining tournaments on the NCAA schedule.
Faced with the unprecedented circumstances, the 21-year-old was extra cautious as she travelled back home to Rosemère, Que.
“First thought when travelling back to Canada was to stay healthy and take all the precaution possible to not catch anything. I knew that if I made a mistake, I could have put my family at risk,” she noted.
“Then quarantine was actually not as bad as I thought. It gave me enough time to think about my game plan, prepare my game plan, so when my 14 days were over, then I would be able to train and keep my routine as normal as possible,” added Thibault, who was recently selected to the NCAA All-Mountain West first team.
Given her recent stellar results on the golf course, it might be surprising for some to find out that Thibault did not start focusing on golf until the age of 15.
And while she was introduced to the sport prior that by her father, Daniel and her mother, Josee, it wasn’t something that she invested much time in to initially.
“My parents were members at a golf course back home and I remember of Sundays, we would always go eat at the course and afterwards we would hit some golf balls on the range. But it was always just for fun at the time,” Thibault recalled.
Growing up young Brigitte dedicated most of her time to cheerleading and gymnastics.
“Cheerleading was huge for my competitiveness. In cheerleading, you have this rush of energy that is boiling inside of you with so many people watching. You have to put yourself all in all the time. My work ethic really grew from cheerleading,” she pointed out.
“I was into cheerleading and gymnastics but all the flips and jumping was hard on my body. So my parents suggested that I focus on golf instead. They have been playing golf for 30 years and wanted me to try it out,” said Thibault.
Faced with injuries, Thibault followed her parent’s suggestion and decided to shift her focus from cheerleading and gymnastics to golf.
“I really got started at the age of 15, and I remember having coaches approach me and telling me how raw my talent was,” she recalled.
Despite the relative late start, Thibault would make up for it with an all in approach.
“I was super focused. I was just trying to learn as much as I could. I would wake up at 5 a.m. and spend the whole day at the golf course,” she pointed out.
Thibault says she became inspired and fascinated by athletes who achieved greatness in their sport – such as Tiger Woods and the late great Kobe Bryant. She was impressed by their work ethic and level of dedication to their craft.
“I used to look for videos of them because I was always intrigued by their greatness and how obsessive they were about getting better and figuring out how to get to that next level. I have taken this same obsession and approach to my development in golf,” she revealed.
Thibault’s desire to achieve her own version of excellence on the golf course combined with her hard work and dedication would lead to impressive results.
In 2016, just two years after dedicating herself to the game of golf, the then 17-year-old Monday qualified for the CP Women’s Open.
Thibault remembers qualifying for the LPGA event, which was held at the Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary, gave her confidence in her game, as well as, motivation to work even harder.
She also adds that playing in her first LPGA tournament at 17 was an eye-opening experience.
“I remember that my heart was racing like crazy and my energy level was so high. It felt like an out-of-body experience. All the golfers that I looked up to were sitting next to me having lunch and everything just seemed so surreal,” she recalled.
Thibault is glad to have been able to continue her development at Fresno State University.
“Being at Fresno State, the weather is always nice. And it’s great that I get to be play Division I golf with some of the best amateurs of the world,” said Thibault, who will be entering her senior year this autumn.
She’s also thankful to be part of Golf Canada’s National Team Program.
“The program has been great, we learn about the mental side of golf, and we learn about nutrition, physio, fitness and a lot of other things to be successful on the golf course and away from it,” noted the second year Amateur Squad member.
“I also love working with Tristan (Mullally) because he’s very direct and to the point and gives great feedback.”
The 21-year-old amateur standout credits continued improvements in her game for the recent success on the golf course.
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Head Coach Tristan Mullally and Brigitte Thibault at a training camp in Phoenix, Ariz.[/caption]
“My putter is starting to gain momentum and my short game is starting to step up. I’ve also been working hard to improve on my wedge and approach,” pointed out Thibault, who is also known to show creativity on her shots.
Looking ahead, Thibault believes her all in approach will provide the opportunity to achieve her own version of greatness on the golf course.
“The game of golf is incredible and I would love to be able to play on the LPGA Tour one day and make an impact and do my part to bring the women’s game to the next level.”
And despite the restrictions from practicing social and physical distancing, Thibault’s long-term goals have kept her motivated and focused during the pandemic.
“I’m up at 5 a.m., filled with busy days and doing it all over again. My own personal growth and grind aren’t going to pause in regards to the conditions of COVID-19,” she said.
With golf courses across the country preparing to open up again, there is optimism that tournament golf will soon return. And when it does, the second year Amateur Squad member will surely be ready.
“I am actually working on all aspects of training – fitness wise, golf wise, and mentally. I’m doing my best to keep improving and being my best self.”]]>
Tips on working at home from Team Canada's psychologist
Team Canada psychologist, Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, shares the below guidance and resources to help with our work from home activities.
As you work from a different place in an ever-changing reality, below are a few reflections from high performance sport. Three aspects I will highlight: who do you want to be, how do humans work, and prioritize recovery.
Who do we want to be?
In working with golfers, we often start with helping them understand who they are and who they want to be in certain situations. This whole idea came from an experience I had when I first moved back to Canada. I had one athlete who was quite young and traveled a great deal internationally. At times, she was very good at what she did and at other times she really struggled. A more experienced competitor sat down with her to have a conversation. He asked her if she knew who she was. She said that she was not sure. And he said that she needed to figure it out, so that she knew if she was in that place each time she stepped to the line.
As you work from home in a new reality, spend some time reflecting on who you want to be in this new context. What do you need to be well in this space? What do you need to stay motivated?
Below are suggestions and tips that other experts have developed for working-from-home (jasonthompson.ca)
Video calls are a great way to feel connected
It’s easy to get lost in texts, emails and social media. Set aside two times per day when you go through these. Focus on your to-dos the rest of the time.
Buy a plant for your workspace. It just feels good.
Go for a walk. It reboots your mind. Some of my best ideas have come on walks.
Set a start and end time each day.
Take advantage of the flexibility and extra work time without a commute.
Dress for work. This may not be the same as your in-office outfit, but if you wear your weekend sweats it will have an effect on your mindset.
Chat about life. Start every call with a few minutes about non-work things and non-COVID things if you can. Remember, we work with people not organizations.
Shared documents are awesome – try and pick one platform and stick with it.
Connect with your team once a day.
If you work from home, despite how wonderfully tempting they can be, don’t get distracted by laundry and tidying up. Do that when your workday is over.
Embrace the situation. If life has taught us anything, it’s that nothing stays the same for long.
Working in high performance sport, we also spend a great deal of time helping a golfer unpack their why. Their reason for doing this and putting in all the hours. In your current context, I think we can extend your why to another level. As we work in these new conditions, what is your why for doing it? Who is your why? Grab a few pictures that remind you of this and keep it close to you.
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Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, Derek Ingram[/caption]
Finally, understanding when we are and are not in a good place from a mental wellness perspective can be beneficial. Below is a mental health continuum that I modified for Team Canada men’s golf team (based on a more elaborate version from the Canadian Mental Health Association). It helps all of us start to learn about when we are mentally well. We should all know the things that keep us well, the signs we are not well, triggers and what we can do to get back to being well.
How do humans work?
We help athletes understand how humans being work. Stress and anxiety are a part of being human. Humans have a brain that is meant to help us survive and as such, we respond to stress and anxiety in a certain manner. We thrive with control, and in times like this, it is very important that we spend time coming back to what we have control over.
Click here to watch a TedTalk by Lisa Feldman Barrett that helps us learn more about the brain and how it operates.
Click here to read an article that talks about anxiety as it related to the situation. There is also a colouring book you can use to speak with coronavirus for those of you who have young children.
And finally, we try to prioritize recovery. Our sport science team speak about being physically and also mentally recovered with Team Canada golf. Meditation and mindfulness can be very helpful tools for keeping us in a positive mental space. Some things to consider as we work to prioritize emotional recovery:
Be self-compassionate. Even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety are experiencing more worry and anxiety now. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual. Additional information regarding self-compassion can be found here as well as several free tools and activities to aid in practicing kindness to ourselves.
Limit the news and unplug from social media. Understandably coronavirus is the lead story for most news outlets. People on social media are likewise sharing information and stories, some of which are accurate, but others may have little to do with reality. The general public is interested and wants to know the latest details. Yet when our attention is drawn to something, we are more likely to focus on it and continue thinking about it. As we think about and focus more on coronavirus, the PERCEPTION of threat increases (not the actual risk but our perception of it).
If you do watch or read the news, try to limit how often you:
Commit to only checking in a couple of times a day and limit the total time to 30 minutes a day.
Set a regular time when you check the news every day (standardizing the times you check will help to both think less about it and to reduce fighting with yourself to check).
Disable news alerts on your phone so that you get updates when you want them. It can also be helpful to rely on family and friends to provide major updates thereby making it unnecessary to check the media.
Strengthen Self-Care. During these anxiety-provoking times, it’s important to remember the tried-and-true anxiety prevention and reduction strategies: (Get adequate sleep; Exercise regularly; Practice mindfulness; Eat well-balanced meals; Make time for activities you enjoy and take time to unwind; Spend time in nature; Employ relaxation techniques when stressed; Connect with people you trust; and talk about your concerns and how you are feeling).
Focus on What You Can Control. Sometimes we fixate on events out of our control. But rather than blaming others or trying to change them, resilient people set their sights on what they can control. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this situation?”
Be in the Present. What do you notice about your breath right now? Our breath is an excellent anchor in the present, but sometimes we get stuck in the past or worry about the future. Practice STOP (Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Observe. Proceed).
So as you work from home and continue to do your job, keep figuring out who you are and who you want to be, honour the fact that you are human and prioritize recovery – knowing that right now the conditions are such that it may be difficult to let go and allow your mind to be at rest.]]>
Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23 – Aug. 8 in 2021
The Olympic rings are seen in Tokyo's Odaiba district on March 25, 2020, the day after the historic decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. - Japan on March 25 started the unprecedented task of reorganising the Tokyo Olympics after the historic decision to postpone the world's biggest sporting event due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has locked down one third of the planet. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 – almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.
“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”
Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.
“Nice that they were able to do to it so quickly as now all the (international federations) can work towards fixing their calendars for the summer,” Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee said.
There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.
Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.
“Seems like the obvious choice to me,” said Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet, a two-time Olympian. “For athletes, like me, who don’t have a qualifying mark, it gives us the opportunity in 2021 to post a result.”
After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.
“The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer.”
The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, thank you to the IOC, IPC and Tokyo 2020 for rapidly making a decision on the new dates for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021,” Canadian Paralympic Committee president Marc-Andre Fabien said in a statement. “We recognize the vast amount of work that lays ahead to bring a postponed Games to life and greatly appreciate all of their efforts. We commit to doing our part to make the Games a success.
“This now gives our entire sport community a true sense of clarity and a way to move forward. Now we, alongside our national sport organizations, partners, and athletes, can start preparations knowing we all will unite in Tokyo next summer, one year on from planned, and be able to celebrate how sport brings people together.”
Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.
“These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IOC said. “The new dates … also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs.”
Both Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive” – local reports estimate billions of dollars – with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.
Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.
“Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”
Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.
Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.
The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion, according to organizing committee documents. The IOC’s contribution goes into the operating budget.
IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called the Tokyo Olympics the best prepared in history. However, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso also termed them “cursed.” Aso competed in shooting in the 1976 Olympics, and was born in 1940.
The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were cancelled because of Japan’s war with China.
The run-up to the Olympics also saw IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, who also headed the Japanese Olympic Committee, forced to resign last year amid a bribery scandal.]]>
Olympic Rings are seen a the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne on March 24, 2020 amid the spread of the COVID-19. - The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on March 24, 2020. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.
The IOC said the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in a statement.
Before the official announcement, Abe said Bach had agreed with his proposal for a one-year postponement.
“President Bach said he will agree `100%,’ and we agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said, saying holding the games next year would be “proof of a victory by human beings against the coronavirus infections.”
On Sunday, Bach said a decision on postponing the games would be made in the next four weeks. But pressure grew as national federations, sports governing bodies and athletes spoke out against having the opening ceremony as planned on July 24.
Four-time Olympic hockey champion Hayley Wickenheiser was the first IOC member to break ranks with Bach’s stance that the games would go ahead as planned when she publicly criticized the body’s unwavering strategy.
After the announcement to postpone the game, she wrote on Twitter that the decision was the “message athletes deserved to hear.”
“To all the athletes: take a breath, regroup, take care of yourself and your families. Your time will come,” she wrote.
The decision came only a few hours after local organizers said the torch relay would start as planned on Thursday. It was expected to start in northeastern Fukushima prefecture, but with no torch, no torchbearers and no public. Those plans also changed.
“For the time being, the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima,” organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said.
The Olympics have never before been postponed, and have only ever previously been cancelled in wartime.
Organizers will now have to figure out how to keep things running for another year, while making sure venues are up to date for possible another 12 months.
“A lot can happen in one year, so we have to think about what we have to do,” said Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee. “The decision came upon us all of a sudden.”
The IOC and Tokyo organizers said they hope the decision to postpone will help the world heal from the pandemic.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC statement said. “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”]]>
Team Canada will not send athletes to Games in summer 2020 due to COVID-19 risks
TORONTO – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.
The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring. While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.
This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.
The COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC. We are thankful to the IOC for its assurance that it will not be cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Games and appreciative that it understands the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.
We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.
The COC and CPC would like to thank our athletes, partners and the Canadian sport community for their patience and for lending us their voices during these unprecedented times. We remain hopeful that the IOC and IPC will agree with the decision to postpone the Games as a part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities and work to contain the spread of the virus.]]>
Golf Canada names 2020 Team Canada Young Pro Squad
OAKVILLE, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada is pleased to announce the nine athletes who have been selected to the 2020 Team Canada Young Pro Squad.
Comprising the 2020 Men’s Young Pro Squad are returnees Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.), Jared du Toit (Kimberley, B.C.), Stuart Macdonald (Vancouver, B.C.) and Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ont.) along with new additions Chris Crisologo (Richmond, B.C.) and Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.). Crisologo, 23, and Savoie, 25, will make their Young Pro Squad debuts after graduating from the Men’s Amateur Squad.
The Women’s Young Pro Squad will be represented by a trio of returning athletes in Jaclyn Lee (Calgary, Alta.), Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ont.), and Maddie Szeryk (London, Ont.).
Click here to read Team Canada Young Pro Squad player bios.
Now in its seventh year, the Team Canada Young Pro Squad helps to bridge the gap for top-performing amateurs transitioning into the professional ranks. Since the inception of the Young Pro Squad in 2014, current and former team members have accounted for 43 wins across various professional golf tours including PGA TOUR wins by Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners as well as a record nine LPGA Tour wins by Brooke Henderson.
New for 2020 is the amount of coaching the Young Pro Squad will receive. After talking with past players, one of the areas Golf Canada was committed to improving on was the amount of contact time with coaches. That time will double in 2020.
Men’s and Women’s National Squad coaches Derek Ingram and Tristan Mullally will provide coaching to their respective Young Pro athletes. Both Ingram and Mullally are PGA of Canada members and Ben Kern Coach of the Year past recipients.
Golf Canada is also pleased to announce the addition of Team Canada assistant coaches Jennifer Greggain (Chilliwack, B.C.) on the women’s side and Andrew Parr (London, Ont.) on the men’s side who will provide coaching support to athletes on the Amateur Squads. Greggain, the 2018 PGA of Canada Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year, brings an accomplished competitive resume including two years as a member of the LPGA Tour while Parr, a PGA of Canada apprentice professional and Team Canada graduate played professionally on both the Mackenzie Tour and European Tour.
The athletes will also have access to Team Canada’s sport science staff, which includes physiotherapist Greg Redman and Psychologist Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood supporting the men’s team. The women’s team will be supported by physiotherapist Andrea Kosa and mental performance consultant Christie Gialloreto.
Funding for this program, in large part, comes from the Golf Canada Foundation with generous contributions from founding partners RBC and Canadian Pacific, as well as supporting partners Citi Canada and Bear Mountain Resort – the Official Training Centre of Golf Canada’s National Team program.]]>
Team Canada's Brigitte Thibault returns to Augusta National Women's Amateur
Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., is headed back to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The 21-year-old National Team member was the only Canadian in the field at the inaugural event last year and was officially invited back on Saturday. Participating in the first-even women’s event at the prestigious course was the start of a career season for Thibault. She went on to win the Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship and the NCAA’s Mountain West Conference Championship.
“I didn’t want to set expectations because I didn’t know if they were keeping the same procedures, I didn’t know how they would select the people this year,” said Thibault. “So I didn’t want to set expectations, but I knew I had a great year. I did a lot of things right.”
Thibault, who is a member of Golf Canada’s national amateur squad, is entering her third season on Fresno State University’s golf team.
She was also part of Canada’s bronze-medal team at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, with Mary Parsons, Austin Connelly and Joey Savoie. After her productive 2019 Thibault was named the female amateur of the year by the Golf Journalists Association of Canada.
Although Thibault missed the cut at last year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur she thinks the experience will set her up for greater success.
“There were things I did right, things I did wrong,” said Thibault. “Last year there was so much excitement and we didn’t really know what to expect. None of the players had an advantage. None of them had played there before.