Teamwork makes the Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by Bell a success
OTTAWA – The 2021 Athletics Canada Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by Bell have come and gone (June 25-27). Twenty-eight (28) Canadian Champions were crowned, three National Championship records were surpassed, one Canadian record was broken and three athletes – Lindsey Butterworth, John Gay and Django Lovett – achieved the Olympic Entry Standard in their respective events. As well, a number of athletes recorded important performances to increase their world ranking in the hopes of being selectable for the Olympic team.
Importantly, the enhanced strict health and safety protocols at the event resulted in no positive test results for COVID-19 among the athletes who were chasing their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.
None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the Provincial and Municipal Health Authorities – Santé publique Montréal, Santé publique Québec, Centre de coordination des mesures d’urgence (CCMU) Montréal and Ville de Montréal – who helped guide, and ultimately approve, the health and safety protocols. They put their trust in Athletics Canada and the local organizing committee to create a controlled environment, execute the rigorous health and safety plan that was developed by our team, and to follow all COVID-19 protocols that were put in place to keep all participants – athletes, coaches, officials, staff and volunteers – safe.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the City of Montreal and the public health authorities for allowing Athletics Canada to stage this event,” said David Bedford, Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “As we saw over the past three days, the Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by Bell are an important part of an athlete’s journey to the Games. For Lindsey, John and Django, securing the entry standard put them one step closer to their Olympic dream, while others accumulated important World Rankings points to put themselves in a position to be nominated to Team Canada.”
“To the local organizing committee, Fédération Québécoise d’athlétisme, our sponsors – Bell, Nike, the Government of Canada, Province of Quebec, City of Montreal and Montreal Tourism – volunteers and our team here at Athletics Canada, thank you,” added Bedford. “Your commitment to making this event happen never wavered. You put the athletes first and staged a first-class competition in a safe and secure environment, despite the uncertainty we faced in the months leading up to the Trials, the additional planning that was required and the weather – heat, humidity and rain – you persevered throughout this weekend. Together, we delivered an event that the athletes will be forever grateful for.”
The athlete’s journey to the Games did not end in Montreal on Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow, June 29, is the final day of eligibility and many athletes who competed at the Trials will compete at the final Athletics Canada Tokyo Qualifier Series event, La Classique d’athlétisme de Montréal, presented by Boutique Courir, before World Athletics confirms the list of athletes qualified by Qualification Standard and publishes the World Rankings, the list of qualified athletes and the list of qualified relay teams. Athletics Canada will nominate its Olympic Team on July 2.
For all para athletes, the qualifying period for all events ends on July 20, giving them a handful of opportunities to compete before the Paralympic Team is nominated on July 22.