Lindsay’s Wright sisters aim to fly high in water polo at Olympics

By William McGinn

L to R: Claire and Emma Wright on Zoom call with friends, family, and media.

Emma and Claire Wright, 24 and 27, two sisters and Lindsay residents, are heading off to Japan soon to represent Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. A surprise Zoom call today was organized by their mother, Wendy Wright, with over 50 friends, family members, and others who wanted to wish them good luck.

Competing in women’s water polo beginning July 24, Emma is co-captain of the team. Both sisters have been away from home since early May. They started off in California, playing against the U.S. National team. That was followed by Italy, Greece, and Hungary before they fly to Japan tomorrow.

Emma and Claire’s two older siblings used to be members of a water polo club in Scarborough, getting immersed early into pool life and in the sport in general. Emma has played at four FINA world championships and two Pan American games. Claire played in the 2011 Youth Pan American Championships where Canada won gold.

For the past year, they have been training on their own, given they were unable to do regular training due to the pandemic. Their schedule, Claire explained to the Advocate, involved two hours in the morning and two more at night training in the water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, plus the same schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays for other exercises like weight lifting.

Jane Roos, founder of CAN Fund, a charity that helps fund Canadian athletes, was also on the Zoom call, surprising the two athletes with a donation of $6,000 each from the charity. Emma has been a recipient of this donation in the past but this was Claire’s first time.

When asked if there was anyone they wanted to give a shoutout to for getting them where they are, Emma said, there have been multiple coaches throughout the years.

“It would take a while to name the whole list but we’re thankful for each and every one of them,” Emma said.

On the Zoom chat was also Francis Gross, who Claire said “has been our club coach since we both started playing water polo.” Gross said his “heart beats very strong seeing you. We are cheering for you and you have to be prepared. Reach as far as you can.”

Their first game on July 24 is against Australia. The games will continue until Aug. 8.

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