Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Olympic cancellation a blow for local medal contender

Published on

Troy Shantz

Losing her chance to perform on the world’s biggest stage at this summer’s Olympics was a bitter pill to swallow for Sarnia’s

Julia Greenshields.

“I’m absolutely crushed and devastated. I have been working towards this for eight years,” said Greenshields, a member of Canada’s national Rugby Sevens squad.

“But me and my work and my goals are not more important than everyone else’s lives.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee was the first of any country’s to officially withdraw its athletes from Tokyo 2020 Games, setting off a chain of events that led Japanese officials to postpone the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.

The games have been scheduled to next year, from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

Canada’s Rugby Sevens team was tied for second with Australia behind New Zealand in the 2020 HSBC World Sevens Series when the novel coronavirus struck. Then the decision was made to cancel the remaining three stops on the eight-tournament season, scrapping matches in Paris, Hong Kong and Langford B.C.

Canada had earned three silvers and a bronze on the season and the team’s momentum foreshadowed good things to come at the Summer Games, Greenshields said.

“To finish second place in the competitions thus far made the Olympics just, like, ‘We’re totally going to finish on the podium.’”

The St. Clair Secondary grad and former Sarnia Saint plays rugby sevens, the popular new version of the sport in which teams of seven players compete on a regulation field over two, seven-minute halves.

More like this