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Ann Dow inducted into the Quebec Sports of Hall of Fame

(Montreal, QC - September 25, 2019) – The Panthéon des Sports du Québec held its Induction Gala last night in Montreal. It was an exceptional night as Water Polo Canada Alumni Ann Dow became the first water polo player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

With over 20 years in her water polo career, Ann Dow is one of the leading figures in Canadian water polo. Upon the announcement of her appointment, the Montreal native was surprised to receive this honour.

"I was really surprised because for me, this distinction is directly linked to great achievements. I had a great career, but at the same time in two participations at the Olympic Games, I did not win any medals. Moreover, I am happy because this honour means that I have somehow helped to publicize my sport in Quebec and encourage a future generation of athletes to discover and love water polo as much as I did."

Beyond the surprise, Dow said she felt a lot of pride during the announcement. She insisted on sharing this recognition with the many people who supported her during her time with the National Team and during her professional career.

"I am extremely proud to be inducted into the Hall of Fame; I am the first water polo athlete, and at the same time the first woman in water polo. Water polo is a team sport, so I share this recognition with all those who have crossed my path, who have had a positive influence on the athlete or the human being. My teammates have as much merit as me; without them, I would not be here. Of course, it's special, and I'm particularly honoured because it's in Quebec and I hope it will open the door to other athletes."

A true pillar of Canadian water polo, Ann Dow had multiple achievements throughout her career. As a member of the National Team in 1997, when women's water polo was finally admitted to the Olympic program, she realized that her dream would eventually come true when the Canadian Women’s team punched its Sydney 2000 ticket by winning gold at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. Still passionate about her sport, Dow decided to continue for another quadrennial and she lived her second Olympic experience in 2004 at the Athens Games. Although she had initially decided to retire after Athens 2004, she could not pass on the opportunity to finish her career on home soil.

"There have been several highlights in my career; it's hard to pick one. The Olympic Games is the dream of every athlete; entering the stadium is an incredible feeling. However, I would say that the most important moment for me was when I retired at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal in front of my family and friends. It was my chance to thank them and show

them why I was so passionate about this sport. Playing at this event was also special for me because it was my last tournament with Team Canada. "

The Canadian team had an outstanding tournament at the 2005 World Aquatic Championships, winning the second bronze medal in history by defeating Russia. Despite the loss in the semifinals, Dow recalls the excitement of the Montreal fans throughout the competition.

"It was really a great tournament in Montreal. We went under the radar and we became the Cinderella team of these Championships. Everyone was talking about water polo, because we kept winning match after match. It was an amazing experience for me, and I was also named the best player of the tournament, so for me, it's a moment that encompasses everything."

Ann Dow covered water polo at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and she has always kept a close eye on our Canadian teams. She was pleased to see the Canadian Women's Team qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"I was pretty confident that they would qualify this year with the opportunities available. I'm really happy: I know what it means, I know the amount of effort it takes to reach this level. Some of the current athletes were with the program in 2005, and they will finally be able to say they are Olympians, live their dream and, after that, take a well-deserved retirement [laughs]. "

Like many Canadian fans, Dow plans to follow the Women's National Team in Tokyo. When asked about the year ahead, she believes everything is in place for this team to be successful.

"In the coming year, I think they need to focus on what they do best. The players know their role on the team, and they are there for a particular reason, and it is the same for the staff. I think if everyone focuses on what they do best in and out of the water, the team can go a long way. At the Games, it's the same teams, it's the same tournament, so you have to keep that in mind to take some pressure off. Keep your head cool and enjoy the moment because it goes by so fast!"

Water Polo Canada would like to congratulate Ann Dow and all the 2019 Quebec Sports of Hall of Fame Inductees.



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