When talking about high performance athletes, we talk a lot about perseverance: dedicating long hours in the barn or gym; sacrificing time spent with loved ones to train or compete; or being able to bounce back after a poor result. But in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the word “perseverance” took on an entirely new dimension.

In addition to the normal demands of equestrian sport, our Olympians and Paralympians have had to manage not one pandemic – coronavirus (COVID-19) – but two, with the recent outbreaks of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

These pandemics have increased worry for the health and safety of ourselves, horses, friends, family and even the state of the world we live in. Travel to qualifiers became difficult. New recommendations and protocols popped up by the minute, casting doubt or forcing last-minute changes in plans set years before. And yet, somehow, 10 individuals persevered to be nominated to the Tokyo 2020 Canadian Equestrian Team (CET).

And it’s not just the athletes who pushed through. Grooms and veterinarians made the decision to stick with their charges through thick and thin. Horse owners placed absolute trust in the care of their horses by others, even when unable to visit or accompany them due to COVID-19 restrictions. EC staff have worked around the clock, taking on the massive challenge of Games preparation with the added pressure of ensuring the health and safety of every team member. Through it all, there has been continued commitment to the spirit of the Games and excitement in representing Canada at the pinnacle of our sporting calendar.

More than ever, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are a celebration of perseverance: the perseverance of each individual to get the job done despite seemingly impossible circumstances, as well as the perseverance of Team Canada to band together and support one another in order to ensure the maple leaf is proudly represented in Japan.

I am so appreciative and proud of the adaptability, commitment and effort shown by the entire CET. I know that feeling of pride will only grow when watching our athletes take their first steps into the Olympic and Paralympic rings.

Sincerely,

Meg Krueger
Chief Executive Officer
Secretary General

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