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An Islander has been named captain of the Canadian women's Paralympic goalball team.
Amy Kneebone Burk will lead the team when she heads to Tokyo for the delayed 2020 Paralympics, which run Aug. 25 to Sept. 5. It will be her fourth Games.
"I'm fully ready to lead this group into Tokyo. It's a good mixture of veterans and rookies. The team has a ton of potential," she told CBC's Island Morning Friday.
Kneebone Burk said the team will have to follow strict COVID-19 protocols when in Tokyo, so she's quite confident she and her teammates will be safe. Tokyo has reported thousands of new cases over the last few weeks and some have expressed concerns over safety at the Games.
She said being named team captain was exciting.
"My phone was just blowing up," she said. "It's so nice to see the love and support from everyone back home."
Fourth time's the charm?
The Charlottetown woman said she hopes her fourth time proves to be charmed and that she will claim her first medal this summer. She said the team has rebuilt the program over the last year, focusing on strength and conditioning.
"I think our team is really getting themselves in the best mindset they can to perform at their best," she said.
Kneebone Burk said the COVID-19 restrictions meant the team saw less of each other last year, but also less of their opponents. She said that's left everyone hungry for competition and eager to find out what their rivals have been up to.
"We haven't been on a court in a competition since March 2020," she said.
Canada is among 21 teams competing in goalball and starts in a pool with Russia, China, Australia and Israel. Canada's first game comes Aug. 25 against Russia.
"We really need to not take anyone for granted and we really hope no one takes us for granted. But if they want to — so be it," Kneebone Burk said.
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