Edmond Sumner with one and one against the Orlando Magic



Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold asks the IOC to change the qualification rules for pregnant women

With the clock ticking on Mandy Bujold’s Olympic dream of Tokyo, it is now an upcoming decision by the International Olympic Committee this week that could determine her fate. Bujold, one of Canada’s most successful boxers with two Pan-American and eleven national championships, has secured legal representation in the fight for qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “This is the last round for me. I have to go all in,” Bujold told CBC Sports. “So I want to end my career at a high level with an Olympic medal behind my neck.” I have to do everything to make this dream come true and then to retire. “Right now, Bujold’s out of turn should get the chance to qualify for the Argentina Games next month, but the pandemic forced the event to be canceled for the second year in a row. With no competitions currently planned, the IOC had to compete with a revised ranking system that used three events between 2018 and 2019 to determine the four available spots. During that 11 month period, which the IOC used as a ranking system, Bujold gave birth to her daughter and did not compete the second before her maternity leave and now she could miss the Olympics entirely because of her pregnancy and the pandemic. “For us, it’s about gender equality based on the Olympic Charter. The IOC is the one overseeing this qualification process,” said Bujold, who lives in Kitchener, Ontario. “This is an opportunity for the IOC to become amplify. “WATCH | Bujold’s battle for more than medals: Bujold has hired Sylvie Rodrigue, she, girlfriend and 28-year-old litigator at Torys LLP in Toronto to help with her battle. “We are calling for a rule that takes into account women who may have been pregnant or have had a baby during this period,” said Rodrigue. From a legal point of view, it is about the basic principles of Olympism. “The IOC has promoted women’s sport and justice in recent years.” Rodrigue filed her arguments before the IOC last week, saying the schedule was tight as she expects the IOC to validate its qualifying rules by Friday. Rodrigue said they were ready to initiate arbitration should the IOC fail to rule in their favor, but said they remain optimistic that the organization will make the right decision and give Bujold a place in the Olympics. Rodrigue said that should the IOC decide against them, it would send a very different message from the ideals of the IOC. “It sends the wrong signal. It sends the signal to women athletes that pregnancy must adversely affect their performance,” she said. “This is even a playing field for women who have been or are pregnant. They shouldn’t have to choose between having a baby or staying in the game.” Two and a half adventurous years have passed since Bujold was born in November 2018. Her daughter Kate Olympia McIver (KO initials weren’t planned, but a nice surprise according to Bujold) has changed the way Bujold sees the world and approaches her education. CLOCK | Mandy Bujold shares her passion for sport with her daughter: “[She’s a] super smart little girl. It changes your world completely for the better, “said Bujold.” It’s so cute when she watches me exercise and tries to copy me. I want her to see me compete. “Up until a week ago, Bujold thought her daughter would get that chance. She said she was broken when she found out her qualifying opportunity had been canceled. She was in tip top shape and was preparing to earn her place at Bujold Will two days after the opening ceremony, she is 34. She plans to retire after these Olympics. “I want to show my daughter that she should never give up and keep pushing,” she said. “I know the IOC will tries. “Finding ways to qualify athletes, but it’s difficult when everything is canceled. You have to have the best athletes there to keep the integrity of the Games.”


Janet Smith