Five Canadian artistic gymnasts have been nominated to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, Gymnastics Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced on Thursday.
The women’s team – which qualified for the Tokyo in October 2019, with a fifth-place finish in the qualifying round of the world championships – will feature veterans Ellie Black (Halifax), who will be competing in her third Olympic Games, as well as Rio 2016 team member and 2018 world silver medallist on the vault, Shallon Olsen (North Vancouver, B.C.).
Joining them will be Cambridge, Ont., native Brooklyn Moors, and Ava Stewart of Bowmanville, Ont., who are set to make their Olympic debuts.
“I am beyond thrilled and proud to be representing Canada at my third Olympic Games,” Black said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to head to Tokyo with this great team to show what we can do.
Four alternates for the women’s squad were also announced: Rose Woo (Montreal), Laurie Denommée (Laval, Que.), Emma Spence (Cambridge, Ont.), and Victoria Woo (Montreal).
On the men’s side, Canada’s lone representative will be René Cournoyer of Repentigny, Que. who qualified with a 43rd place finish in the all-around competition at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
“After an incredibly long wait, we are finally reaching the end of the crazy emotional rollercoaster that was this past year,” Cournoyer said.
“There is no doubt that these Games are going to be quite different, but that’s also what is going to make them so unique and memorable and while I will be the only Canadian male artistic gymnast in Tokyo, I know that I’ll have my teammates, my family, and the whole nation with me, supporting me from home.”
The Tokyo Games will be the first in-person competition for the Canadian team since early 2020. Gymnastics Canada has been holding virtual competitions for the last year to accommodate for various shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The artistic gymnastics competition will begin on July 24 with the men’s qualification round. The women’s qualifiers will take place on July 25. How the athletes perform in qualifying will dictate what finals they will compete in (team, all-around, or apparatus).
The finals begin on July 26 and continue until August 3.