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Six wrestlers announced to the Paris 2024 Canadian Olympic Team

May 28, 2024

TORONTO (May 28, 2024) – Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the roster of Team Canada wrestling athletes nominated to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The six athletes are:

Amar Dhesi (Surrey, B.C.) – Men’s freestyle 125kg
Justina Di Stasio (Coquitlam, B.C.) – Women’s 76kg
Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Burnaby, B.C.) – Women’s 62kg
Alex Moore (Montreal, Que.) – Men’s freestyle 86kg
Linda Morais (Tecumseh, Ont.) – Women’s 68kg
Hannah Taylor (Summerside, P.E.I.) – Women’s 57kg

The first step in the athletes’ qualification path was to win their weight class at the Canadian Team Trials which took place December 15-17, 2023 in Edmonton. That granted them the opportunity to compete at the Pan American Qualifier in Mexico from February 28 to March 1 where they could earn Olympic quota spots. Taylor, Godinez Gonzalez, Di Stasio, Moore and Dhesi qualified for Paris 2024 at that competition.  Morais earned her spot during the World Olympic Qualifier, which was held May 9-12 in Türkyie.

Team Canada’s wrestling team features several world and continental champions, including Justina Di Stasio, who captured the gold medal in women’s 72kg at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships. She also won gold at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in women’s 76kg. The 31-year-old took a break from wrestling during the pandemic to begin a career as a teacher, but later came back to the sport with a renewed commitment to achieving her Olympic dreams. She will make her Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

Godinez Gonzalez won gold in women’s 62kg at the 2021 U23 World Championship, kickstarting her career. She followed that up with a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and gold medals at both the 2022 and 2023 Pan American Championships. Competing for her adoptive country after her family fled Mexico when she was eight years old, Godinez Gonzalez is proud to represent Canada and hopes to inspire other newcomers when she makes her Olympic debut at Paris 2024.

Amar Dhesi, the only Canadian wrestler competing at Paris 2024 with previous Olympic experience, hopes to improve on his 13th place finish from Tokyo 2020. Dhesi, a member of the Vancouver Police Department, has continued the momentum from his Olympic debut, having since won men’s freestyle 125kg gold at both the 2022 Pan American Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“Trying to find the words to express the feeling of representing my country, my community and my family at my second Olympic Games has been tough, but I keep coming back to the word grateful,” said Dhesi. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be in a position once again to have a chance to bring back an Olympic medal. I fell short in Tokyo but am prepared to be courageous and ready to bring the fight. We have a great team, and I’m looking forward to being in Paris!”

Team Canada has won 17 Olympic wrestling medals dating back to London 1908. To date, there have been three Canadian Olympic wrestling champions – Erica Wiebe at Rio 2016, Carol Huynh at Beijing 2008, and Daniel Igali at Sydney 2000.

“It is with great honour, anticipation and excitement that Wrestling Canada Lutte names our official Olympic Team competing in Paris. We boast an internationally strong group of athletes who are eager to compete on the highest stage in our sport, led by Olympian Amar Dhesi, who will be competing in his second Olympics,” said Chris Woodcroft, Wrestling Canada Lutte, High Performance Director.  “All four of our women wrestlers have each won medals on the world stage, including three of them who have all held world titles. We look forward to our athletes showing their mettle in an effort to gain some medals.”

Wrestling will take place August 5 to August 11 (Day 10 to 16) at the Champ-de-Mars Arena.

‘’Team Canada’s wrestlers are a force on the mat and their Olympic qualification is the result of fierce battles and unwavering determination,‘’ said Bruny Surin, Team Canada’s Paris 2024 Chef de Mission. ‘’The athletes are ready to perform with an intensity that will be felt both at the Champ-de-Mars Arena and across Canada. I am confident that they will keep us all on our toes. Wishing them a successful final phase of preparation.‘’

Team Canada’s wrestling team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games also includes the following coaches and support staff:

Dave Collie (Fonthill, Ont.) – Coach
Dave McKay (Port Moody, B.C.) – Coach
Logan Stieber (Monroeville, Ohio, United States) – Coach
Raj Virdi (Surrey, B.C.) – Coach
Dave Zilberman (Montreal, Que.) – Coach

Support Staff
Chris Woodcroft (Huntsville, Ont.) – High Performance Director and Team Leader
Kale Whitton (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Leader
Surinder Budwal (Cambridge,  Ont.) – Team Athletic Therapist

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 Paris 2024 roster can be found here.