The opening ceremony isn’t until Friday, but Canadian athletes will be out on the softball pitch early tomorrow morning for Canada’s first event of the Tokyo Olympics.
Canada will face off against Mexico on Wednesday afternoon Tokyo time — late Tuesday night Pacific Time.
The Canadian roster includes four players who were on the team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when Canada finished fourth.
The team also includes Vancouver Islander and former BC High School Athlete of the Year, Emma Entzminger — a dream come true for the 25-year-old.
“I’ve always wanted to, as a young kid, play for Team Canada,” Emma told CHEK News leading up to her Olympic debut.
“I never really knew what sport it was, just because I played so many and I wanted to do it all, but I knew I wanted to represent Canada on the highest stage.”
Canada enters the six-team tournament ranked 3rd in the world, but Emma believes the extra year of practice has taken the team to a new level.
“I’ve never seen our team so confident,” said the team Canada third baseman. “It’s pretty cool, like, we’re going for gold and nobody’s going to beat us and we believe that.”
Next up on the Olympic schedule on Wednesday will be the Canadian women’s soccer team, taking on Japan at 3:30 a.m. PT.
Canada has eight entries in team sports, the country’s record for a non-boycotted, non-hosted Games.
Women’s soccer, basketball, softball, rugby sevens and water polo and men’s volleyball, field hockey and rugby sevens all qualified for the Summer Games before the pandemic.
The opening ceremony is Friday at 4 a.m. Pacific Time.
The Olympic Games close Aug. 8, to be followed by the Paralympic Games from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
With files to the Canadian Press.