Despite the event being postponed for a year, Team Canada’s athletes are primed and ready as they get set to hit the road for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Members of the artistic gymnastics team received their red and white Canada jerseys Thursday on the grounds of the Montreal Olympic stadium.
Donning the country’s colours for the first time, the five gymnasts were officially announced to represent Canada on the world stage.
At the head of the team is two-time Olympian and Nova Scotia native Ellie Black.
Black is returning to the games for the third time after representing Canada at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
She is also the 2017 world all-around silver medalist, making her the first Canadian gymnast to win a world all-around medal.
“It’s 35 days away. It’s really feeling like this is happening,” Black said.
“This is real and it’s bringing those emotions into play. We’re ready to work harder than ever and come together to enjoy this experience — an experience of a lifetime.”
Repentigny-born René Cournoyer was on hand and eager to hit the floor for this first-time experience.
Cournoyer said despite the games being less of a festive showing with no crowds and strict health restrictions due to COVID-19, nothing is going to take away his opportunity.
“The younger generation is going to watch us. All the eyes of the world are going to be on us,” Cournoyer said.
“I don’t think it diminishes anything. It’s going to be a great experience. Great games, different ones for sure. No smaller than any other.”
Cournoyer qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games at the 2019 world championships.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony is set for July 23.