Along with Amy Burke, native to Charlottetown who will compete in the fourth games, third-time Ontario Whitney Bogart, and second-time Megan Mahone will bring their Olympic experience to the Canadian team.
Three athletes will participate in the Paralympics. They are Brian Baldock from Edmonton, Ontarians Emma Renke and Maryam Salehizadeh from Vancouver.
In a statement, Burke said it was an honor to lead the Canadian women’s goal soccer team as a captain at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. We have had a very difficult year with the pandemic, and it is with great pride and happiness that I will be sharing this adventure with my teammates, but also with my family and the rest of the country.
The Canadians took bronze at the 2019 Paraben Lima Games, finished fourth at the last World Championships held in 2018, and finished sixth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
This will be my second Paralympic Games as a coach. “I learned a lot from Rio 2016 and hope to build on it,” said Trent Farbrother, head coach of the women’s national goal soccer team. Major changes have been made to the women’s goal soccer program both on and off the field and I am confident that will be reflected in our results in Tokyo.
In Round Robin, Canada will face the Russian Paralympic Committee (PRC), Israel, China and Australia. The second group of the women’s tournament consists of Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, the United States and Japan. Canada will begin its campaign against the RPC on August 25, and the goalball competition will run until September 3.
The men’s team did not qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
What is a goal ball?
Goalball is one of only two sports in the Paralympics that does not have an Olympic equivalent. A sport intended for athletes with visual impairments, goal ball is played on an indoor court.
The object of the game is to score goals by throwing a ball into the opponent’s net. There must only be three athletes per team on the field at the same time, and all players must cover their eyes with a blindfold to ensure a level playing field. The ball has a bell, and players use their hearing to follow the ball and orient themselves on the field using touch lines.
Canada has four Paralympic medals in goal soccer to its record. The women’s team won two consecutive gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Games, as well as a silver in 1984, while the men took the silver in 1996.