The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canada Basketball has named the twelve athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in women’s basketball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to 21.
The team includes seven athletes who competed at the London 2012 Games: Natalie Achonwa, Miranda Ayim, Kim Gaucher, Lizanne Murphy, Michelle Plouffe, Shona Thorburn and Tamara Tatham. First-time Olympic team members Nirra Fields, Miah-Marie Langlois, Kia Nurse, Katherine Plouffe and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe round out the 12-woman roster.
The Canadian women won back-to-back gold medals in 2015, first at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, and then at the FIBA Americas Women’s Championship in Edmonton, which qualified the team for Rio.
In preparation for the Games, the team completed a 4-1 run in a European exhibition series and went 3-0 in a friendly tournament against China. Next week, the team heads south for the USA Basketball Showcase, where they will take on Australia, France and the United States.
The women's Olympic basketball tournament runs August 6-21 with the preliminary competition taking place at the Youth Arena in the Deodoro Olympic Park and the quarter final and medal games taking place at the Carioca Arena in the Barra Olympic Park.
At Rio 2016, Canada expects to field a team of approximately 314 athletes.
Canada Basketball is the National Sporting Organization for the sport of basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball is respected throughout the world and is recognized by the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Government of Canada as the sole governing body of the sport of amateur basketball in Canada. 2016 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball, which was invented by a Canadian - Dr. James Naismith.
"As an athlete there is no greater honour than to represent your country at the Olympic Games. To be able to hear your anthem with Canada across your chest sends chills down your spine. I am humbled to be a part of this team and we can't wait to inspire and make our country proud. "
Kim Gaucher, Rio 2016 athlete
“These 12 women are well aware of their expectations in Rio. They have achieved tremendous success everywhere they have competed and it will be no different when representing Canada this summer. We are very fortunate to have such a strong basketball program and I would like to congratulate these women and Canada Basketball for their achievements."
Curt Harnett, Rio 2016 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“We’re excited to be fielding a team for our second consecutive Olympic Games. We commend the commitment and dedication of every athlete, coach and staff member who has contributed to our road to Rio.”
Denise Dignard, Director, Women’s High Performance, Canada Basketball
"We're extremely proud of these 12 athletes and what they’ve sacrificed and accomplished to get to Rio. We’re ready to take that passion and dedication to the world stage and continue to make Canada proud to support our team.”
Lisa Thomaidis, Head Coach, Women’s National Basketball Team
"Congratulations to the athletes named today to Canada’s basketball team bound for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Our Government is proud to have supported Canada Basketball and our women’s team as they beat the world’s best over the last year. They should know that all Canadians are behind them as they go for gold in Brazil.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
The women’s basketball team which will represent Canada at Rio 2016 includes: