– Rio 2016 Paralympian will be Canada’s sole representative in the sport
– Paralympic Games to take place August 24 to September 5, 2021
Priscilla Gagné (Sarnia, ON) will represent Canada in the sport of Para judo at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, as the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Judo Canada today confirmed her selection to the Canadian Paralympic Team.
Gagné will be participating in her second Paralympic Games after making her debut at Rio 2016, where she placed fifth. The 35-year-old is currently ranked world No. 2 in the 52kg category.
Her biggest results include claiming gold at the 2018 and 2020 Pan American Para Judo Championships and taking silver at both the Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games. She also became the first Canadian woman to earn a medal in Para judo at the world championships, winning bronze at the 2018 event.
“It’s an honour to be named to the Canadian Paralympic Team,” said Gagné. “Since I was 10 years old, I have dreamt of attending the Games, and it is truly a gift to have the chance to do it for a second time at 35 years of age. It’s been a challenging year with the pandemic exposing certain inequalities, but the strength of unity among our Paralympic community and the encouragement of my coach Andrzej [Sadej], has proven to be enough to persevere and overcome yet another challenge. Dreams are born, but we have to do the growing, and sometimes it hurts. But it is always worth it in the end.”
Gagné is set to compete in Tokyo on August 27.
“Priscilla is a fighter, both on the judo mat and in daily life outside of sport,” said Andrzej Sadej, Para head coach, Judo Canada. “For me it is a privilege and an enriching experience to be part of her Paralympic journey.”
Para judo has been part of the Paralympic program since 1988 for men and 2004 for women. It is a sport contested by athletes with a visual impairment and is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation. Athletes are classified B1, B2, or B3 based on the level of their impairment from highest to lowest, however all athletes compete against one another in their weight category regardless of classification. Gagné is classified as B1.
Canada has won four Paralympic bronze medals in the sport – three courtesy of Pier Morten in 2000, 1992, and 1988, and another from his brother Eddie Morten in 1988.
“I am so pleased to welcome Priscilla to the team for her second Paralympic Games,” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission, Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “Priscilla is a phenomenal athlete who I know has been working so hard to keep in top shape during a challenging year of limited access to training. I wish her all the best in Tokyo and can’t wait to cheer her on!”
TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES PARA JUDO TEAM:
Priscilla Gagné – 52kg – Sarnia, ON
The postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place August 24 to September 5, 2021 in Japan. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 130 athletes, and audiences across the country will be able to follow all the action live through coverage from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI, and Sportsnet, and digital partners Twitter, Facebook, and MXZN.
CLICK HERE to see the complete list of athletes currently named to the Canadian Paralympic Team. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will announce the official full team heading to the Games later this summer.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee: Paralympic.ca
About Judo Canada: JudoCanada.org