Nova Scotia athletes on the road to Paris 2024 Olympics

By Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic

Nova Scotia’s high-performance athletes haven’t missed a beat despite a compressed training window for the 2024 Paris Games. With the 2020 Games postponed because of COVID, these dedicated individuals faced a unique situation – a year less to qualify but an unwavering spirit to rise to the challenge.

The qualification process, for some, began in 2023 and continues until just weeks before the Games commence. The journey has been especially rewarding for several athletes aiming to return for their second, third, or even fourth Olympic or Paralympic appearances.

Leading the pack is Wyatt Sanford, from Kennetcook. He secured Canada’s first Atlantic Canadian berth at the Paris Games by clinching gold in boxing’s men’s 63.5-kilogram division at the 2023 Pan Am Games. This will be Sanford’s second Olympic appearance, having previously competed in Tokyo.

Following closely are sisters Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, the dynamic duo who train and reside in Nova Scotia. They secured their spot in the highly competitive 49erFX sailing class at the 2024 49er & 49er FX world championships in Spain earlier this spring. This will be their first Olympic outing.

Nova Scotia boasts many other Olympic hopefuls with impressive resumes. Ellie Black will be making a remarkable fourth Games appearance in gymnastics.**  Michelle Russell is seeking a return trip in canoe kayak. Sarah Mitton, a record-breaking shot putter, is also well on track to qualify for her second Games appearance.

Among the 18 other Nova Scotians vying for Olympic spots are Connor Fitzpatrick and Courtney Baker. Fitzpatrick secured Canada’s quota spot in the men’s C1 1,000-meter event, and looks to book his ticket to Paris, while Baker is competing with Volleyball Canada at the Volleyball Nations League, striving to qualify the women’s team for the first time since the Atlanta Games in 1996.

The Paralympic side is brewing with anticipation for Nova Scotia’s first official qualified athlete. However, Katie Pegg has already made a phenomenal debut on the international scene. Specializing in shot put, she secured gold at her first international competition, the 2024 Dubai Grand Prix. This stellar performance earned her a spot at the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan, where she made her mark, finishing fifth in a stacked field. Now ranked among the world’s best, Pegg is determined to qualify for her first Paralympics.

Originally hailing from New Brunswick, but training in Nova Scotia, Kamylle Frenette, a familiar face in Para triathlon, has been making waves while she attempts to qualify. Following her fourth-place finish at Tokyo 2020, Frenette has continued to excel. In 2022, she balanced a demanding training schedule with completing her pharmacy degree. Her dedication paid off with an impressive fourth-place finish at the 2023 World Triathlon Para Championships in Pontevedra, Spain last September.

With the Paris Games approaching, Nova Scotia’s athletes are a captivating mix of experience and rising stars. From Sanford’s and Black’s repeat Olympic bids to Pegg’s Paralympic hopeful debut, their unwavering dedication promises a thrilling display of athletic prowess on the world stage. As the qualification process reaches its final stretch, all eyes turn to Paris, where Nova Scotia’s finest will vie to etch their names in sporting history.

**Denotes athletes who have qualified a quota spot based on selection criteria, but the team has not been officially announced at the time of publication.

The Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic develops partnerships and implements programs that help build and support Atlantic Canada’s high performance sport structure, leading to Atlantic Canadian athletes succeeding at the national and international level.

More to explore