Evan Fournier with a 3-pointer against the Orlando Magic


The Canadian press

Canadian boxer Many Bujold fight for the Olympic berth

TORONTO – Mandy Bujold would have preferred to have this fight in the ring. Instead, the fate of the Tokyo Olympics for Canada’s top boxers is in the hands of the Sports Arbitration Court after their qualifying tournament was scrapped due to the pandemic. Bujold and her lawyer Sylvie Rodrigue lost their appointment to the International Olympic Committee earlier this week, leaving CAS as their last chance to attend their final Olympic Games. “I was hopeful (about the IOC’s decision),” Bujold told the Canadian press on Wednesday. “But you didn’t even address the issues in our letter, which is really unfortunate, did you? You think of the Olympics and the principles of Olympism, you think of fairness, you think of athleticism, you think of all these things that make the Olympics what they are and make me proud to be an Olympic champion and getting that reaction was really tough. “After a year of competition wiped out by COVID-19, the 11-time national flyweight champion was confident she would secure a spot in the Buenos Aires qualifying tournament this month. The event was recently shut down due to coronavirus disease. Cases canceled in Argentina. With no remaining international competitions for boxers from America, the athletes were selected in a revised ranking system based on three events between 2018 and 2019 – events that Bujold did not attend because they conflicted with their maternity leave Bujold’s daughter Kate was born on November 5, 2018. Rodrigue ne nnt Bujold’s situation a case of human rights abuse and discrimination. The Tokyo Olympic Boxing Task Force’s revised ranking system states, “It’s like Mandy has never been ranked in the world,” said Rodrigue. “What we are saying is the fact that they are not admitting pregnant or postpartum athletes by recognizing their pre-pregnancy ranking. They violate athletes’ rights from a gender equality and discrimination point of view,” she said . Bujold, 33, had planned to retire after the Tokyo Games and had already postponed her departure for a year after the Olympics had been postponed to 2021. “I trained for this opportunity so that this last moment would be good. It’s really difficult to end this chapter of my career and not even have this opportunity now,” she said. Both the Canadian Olympic Committee and Boxing Canada wrote letters in support of their appeal to the IOC, Bujold said. The continental qualifiers were originally scheduled for last March but have been scrapped due to the pandemic. In addition, the European qualifying tournament will take place in Paris next month. Bujold said a European female boxer with an identical story – she had a baby and was taking maternity leave around the same time – was just a fight after beating her ticket to Tokyo. Regardless of the CAS rules, there was no doubt that Bujold would continue this fight until the end. “I think about it when I prepare for a fight in the ring I make sure I do everything I can to give myself the chance to win. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in another fight, ”she said to CP. Bujold, a two-time Pan American Games champion who was previously America’s No. 2, was the first Canadian to compete in consecutive Olympics. Her Olympic Games in Rio ended with heartbreak due to illness. Hours before her quarter-finals, she was in the hospital with an IV. Her goal was to end her career with a medal in Tokyo. Now that everything is in doubt, some days it is not easy to hit the gym. “Ultimately, I trust Sylvie, I trust that her team will fight for me,” she said. “So I have to be prepared and do my part by staying ready and in shape. Until there is a final result, I just have to stay ready in the end.” The Associated Press


Janet Smith