OTTAWA – Olivia Meier (Winnipeg, MB) will make history this summer as the first Canadian athlete to compete in Para badminton at the Paralympic Games, as the sport makes its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Badminton Canada announced Meier’s selection to the team today.
Meier will compete in the women’s SL4 singles tournament. The 22-year-old made her first multi-sport Games appearance at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, which was the first year Para badminton was included on the Parapan Am program. She captured a gold medal in mixed doubles alongside Pascal Lapointe as well as a silver medal in the women’s SU5 singles draw. In Lima, she participated in a different classification as hers was not contested.
Currently ranked No. 11 in the world in singles, she has been competing on the international circuit since 2018. That year, she captured three medals at the Pan Am Championships including a silver in singles. She also claimed the title at the first-ever Canadian Para Badminton Championships in 2016.
"I’m absolutely ecstatic that I will be part of the very first badminton event at the Paralympic Games. This is an amazing opportunity,” said Meier. “I can't wait to get on court to compete and represent my country.”
Badminton competition in Tokyo will hit its first serve on September 1, with Meier commencing her women’s SL4 group play matches. The medals will be awarded in her event on September 4.
“Badminton Canada is proud to have supported Olivia since 2018 when she first made our National Para Team and we are excited to support her in her final preparations leading to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” said Joe Morissette, Executive Director, Badminton Canada. “The entire Canadian badminton community will be cheering her on from Canada.”
The Para badminton Paralympic program was officially announced in 2017, with Tokyo 2020 being the first Games the sport will be contested. There are six different classifications for athletes based on their impairment and the event will feature draws in men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Meier competes in SL4, which is a standing class for athletes with lower limb/body impairments.
Meier will be supported in Tokyo by Badminton Canada’s national Para team head coach Frank Gaudet (Regina, SK).
“It is so exciting to see the Paralympic program expand, and Canada will be represented well in Para badminton by Olivia,” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission, Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “Olivia has had some great successes in her young Para badminton career so far, including at the Parapan Am Games, and it will be a thrill to see her compete in Tokyo. Welcome to the team and congratulations on making your first Paralympic Games!”
TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPIC GAMES PARA BADMINTON TEAM:
Olivia Meier – SL4 – Winnipeg, MB
The postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place August 24 to September 5, 2021 in Japan. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 130 athletes, and audiences across the country will be able to follow all the action live through coverage from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI, and Sportsnet, and digital partners Twitter, Facebook, and MXZN.
CLICK HERE to see the complete list of athletes currently named to the Canadian Paralympic Team. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will announce the official full team heading to the Games later this summer.