Toronto, September 28, 2023 - Water Polo Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s men’s and women’s water polo teams nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada water polo teams for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Verica Bakoc (Toronto, Ont.)
Serena Browne (Pointe-Claire, Que.)
Floranne Carroll (Montréal, Que.)
Axelle Crevier (Montréal, Que.)
Jessica Gaudreault (Ottawa, Ont.)
Rae Lekness (Calgary, Alta.)
Elyse Lemay-Lavoie (Montréal, Que.)
Blaire McDowell (Fernie, B.C.)
Hayley McKelvey (North Delta, B.C.)
Kindred Paul (Spruce Grove, Alta.)
Clara Vulpisi (Montréal, Que.)
Emma Wright (Whitby, Ont.)
Daphné Guèvremont (Montréal, Que) - travelling
Jérémie Blanchard (Longueuil, Que.)
Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (Repentigny, Que.)
Jérémie Côté (Pointe-Claire, Que.)
Bogdan Djerkovic (Ottawa, Ont.)
Reuel D'Souza (Port Coquitlam, B.C.)
Aleksa Gardijan (Gatineau, Que.)
Leo Hachem (Montréal, Que.)
Matthew Halajian (Calgary, Alta.)
Brody McKnight (Regina, Sask.)
Jason O'Donnell (Beaconsfield, Que.)
Gaelan Patterson (North Vancouver, B.C.)
Milan Radenovic (Montréal, Que.)
Bryant Joudrie (Calgary, Alta.) - travelling
At the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, the Canadian teams will have their second of three opportunities to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To do so, they will need to win the gold medals in Santiago. There will be 10 women's teams who will compete in the Olympic water polo tournament, versus 12 for the men's tournament. No teams from the Pan American region are yet qualified for Paris 2024.
Both the Canadian men's and women's teams won silver at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Because the gold medallists in the women’s event (the United States) had already qualified prior to Lima 2019, the silver medal earned Canada a spot in the women’s Olympic water polo tournament at Tokyo 2020. It was the first time Canada had a women’s water polo team at the Olympic Games since Athens 2004. The women's team includes six athletes who competed at Tokyo 2020.
At the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in July, the women’s squad finished seventh overall, while the men’s team placed 12th.
“We’re all excited about competing at the Pan American Games next month! Our team has been intensely training and putting in the work in order to perform and get that Olympic qualifying spot," said Emma Wright, captain of the women's team. “The Pan American Games are an exciting tournament that only happens every four years. A lot of girls on the team have never experienced these Games before, so it will be a fun and exciting new challenge for them as well as the rest of us veterans.”
“The team is in the middle of a very intense preparation in Montreal and we are working hard to arrive in Santiago as ready as we can be,” said Jérémie Blanchard, captain of the men's team. “The training camp in Dubrovnik, to be held right before the competition, will help us a lot in this preparation in order to arrive at the Pan American Games and achieve our goal to qualify for the Olympics. The group is extremely motivated for this chance to achieve our goal. It will be a very exciting tournament!”
Men's water polo has been part of the Pan American Games program since Buenos Aires 1951, whereas women's water polo made its Pan Am Games debut at Winnipeg 1999. At those Games, Team Canada's women's team won the gold medal, qualifying them for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Canadian women have won the silver medal at every Pan American Games since.
“Besides representing a qualification opportunity for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Pan American Games always constitute a great opportunity to experience the scale of a vast multi-sport Games, which constitutes excellent preparation for Olympic Games, especially for many of our younger players”, said Water Polo Canada’s High Performance Director, Olivier Pineau.
Water Polo will take place October 30 to November 4 (Days 10 to 15) at the Parque Deportivo Estadio Nacional in Santiago.
"Team Canada's water polo squad - welcome to the Pan Am Games! In the pool, let the water be your playground and your sportsmanship be the true measure of success,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “I can't wait to witness the unforgettable moments your participation at these Games will bring for the entire country!"
Team Canada’s water polo team coaches and support staff for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Cora Campbell (Calgary, Alta.) - Assistant Coach, women’s team
Pat Oaten (Pointe-Claire, Que.) - Head Coach, men’s team
David Paradelo (Montreal, Que.) - Head Coach, women’s team
Gyula Toth (Calgary, Alta.) - Assistant Coach, men’s team
Mitch Kaufman (Kitchener, Ont.) - Team Leader
David Lapins (Gatineau, Que.) - Video, men’s team
Shae LaRoche (Winnipeg, Man.) - Video, women’s team
Brian Li (Montreal, Que.) - Physiotherapist, women’s team
David Lapins (Gatineau, QC) - Video, men’s team
Sunny Marshall (Toronto, Ont.) - Athletic Therapist, men’s team
Olivier Pineau (Montreal, Que.) - High Performance Director
Manon Prieur (Montreal, Que.) - Massage Therapist, women’s team
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found at https://olympic.ca/team-canada-roster/.