Olympic dream still intact for Bujold

Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold announced Wednesday she has won her fight to compete at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Bujold, who was born in Cobourg and lived the first few years of her life in Port Hope, has won a legal battle after a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport was ruled in her favour.

Mandy Bujold

Bujold 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 past spring in Argentina, but that event was been cancelled. The new ranking system to qualify boxers from the Americas was based on events from when Bujold was away from the sport during her pregnancy and maternity leave. She had previously been ranked second in the world.

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.

The IOC denied her request and the case went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I am proud to say that my legal battle was won. The new qualification criteria must include an accommodation for women who were pregnant or postpartum during the retroactively chosen qualification period,” Bujold wrote in a statement on her social media pages.

“My Olympic dream is still intact. I had an incredible legal team fighting this battle with me, led by Sylvie Rodrigue of Torys LLP. We left it all in the ring. It was one of the biggest fights of my career, but also the fight with the most meaning. I was standing up for what I believe is right and for the dream I had worked so hard for. And I am so proud that we’ve set a human rights precedent for female athletes now, and for the generations to come.”

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About the Author: Jeff Gard