Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold, who was born in Cobourg and lived the first few years of her life in Port Hope, will have to continue her fight outside of the ring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Bujold joined the Total Sports Northumberland podcast last week to share her story. She competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio before stepping away from the sport to have a baby.
For more than a year, she has been training rigorously in her bid to make a comeback to compete on the Olympic stage one final time.
Bujold expected to have the chance to qualify for Tokyo at a qualifier this spring in Argentina, but that event has been cancelled. The new ranking system to qualify boxers from the Americas is based on events from when Bujold was away from the sport during her pregnancy and maternity leave.
With the help of a lawyer, a letter was sent to the Executive Board of the IOC in the hope they would make the right decision pursuant to the principles of gender equity embodied in the Olympic Charter, not only for Bujold, but for all female athletes who decide to take a brief break from competition to have a child.
You can listen here to Bujold’s interview from last week’s Total Sports Northumberland podcast.
On Tuesday, Bujold posted an update to her social media accounts.
“Today, the IOC wrote to my lawyer indicating that it was not accepting the legal arguments raised in her letter on April 23. We now have unfortunately no choice but to pursue our legal challenge before the courts. We gave the IOC the opportunity to step-up and do the right thing for female athletes who took a brief break to have a child. The IOC’s position is surprising not only from a human rights perspective, but also in view of the multiple public statements it has recently made with respect to its commitment to women and gender equity, specifically in the context of the Tokyo Olympics.”