Really, the timing couldn’t be better. After a summer of hard work on and off the court, the Canadian Senior Women’s Basketball Team is ready for Rio 2016. A run of success has proven these women are more than ready to compete at the Olympic level, and they promise to bring their EH-game against the best in the world!
Moving forward from an 8th place finish in London 2012, the team quickly turned their attention to securing a spot in the 2016 Summer Games.
- 2014: 5th place finish at FIBA World Championships
- 2015: 1st place finish at FIBA Americas; 1st place finish at Pan American Games; ranked 9th in the world by FIBA
- 2016: veterans Miranda Ayim, Kim Gaucher, Lizanne Murphy, Tamara Tatham, and Shona Thorburn honoured after each playing over 100-games with Team Canada
And the summer leading up to Rio has been nothing but positive either. The women earned wins in Spain and France in exhibition play, and had an undefeated run against China (8th) at the Edmonton Grads International Classic. After officially nominating the Olympic team at the end of July, the team headed south to compete in the USA Showcase tournament facing off against France (4th), Australia (2nd), and USA (1st) – including a match-up at the basketball mecca: Madison Square Gardens.
The USA Showcase was the first time this group of women had been together on the same court, and the tournament proved to be a great learning experience ahead of the Games. And with the Olympic Opening Ceremony this weekend, the excitement is peaking for these young women.
For many, this will be their first trip to the Olympics and they can’t wait to leave it all on the court. The past few months have already shown that Canada is ready to leave its mark at the Olympics, and you better believe these girls are gunning for a medal.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to play amongst and with the best in the world! It’s time to show all our hard work and prep and prove that Canada can ball,” says guard Miah-Marie Langlois. The Windsor, ON native is playing her third season with the senior women’s team and is excited to see how Canada performs on the international stage.
The Canadian women will face Senegal (24th), Serbia (14th), China (8th), Spain (3rd) and USA (1st) in the group stage, and must finish in the top four to move on to the quarter-finals. “I am looking forward to enjoying a once in a lifetime experience,” says Nirra Fields. And she couldn’t be more right.
The Olympic Games is a feat that many undertake and few get to experience. Many athletes have dedicated their whole lives to the sport, and when they are not playing with the national team they are playing professionally abroad. These women are working hard every day to run faster, jump higher, and post up stronger than their competitors.
It is both an honour and a privilege to wear the maple leaf on their chest and compete alongside some of their closest friends to show the world what Canadian basketball looks like.
Who are you most excited to see our women take on? Have a motivational message you’d like to share with the team? Let us know in the comments below!
Danielle Emmons holds degrees in Kinesiology and Exercise Science & Lifestyle Management, and is pursuing a career as a kinesiologist. An avid athlete and sports fan, Danielle is currently a High Performance Intern with Canada Basketball.