Prior to these events taking place, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and shortly after, the decision was made to postpone the Tokyo Olympics. A qualifying tournament in Argentina was also postponed and eventually cancelled in April.
This left the IOC having to determine how athletes would qualify for this summer’s Olympics.
The body chose to use previous events from 2019 and 2018. Since those were the years in which she had her daughter and was preparing her body for the return to competition, this left Bujold sidelined in the athlete selection for the Canadian Olympic Team.
"My name is Mandy Bujold. I am a Canadian Olympic athlete and a loving mother to my beautiful two-year-old daughter Kate. But because I am both of those things at once, my Olympic dream was nearly taken away from me." -Mandy Bujold, CBC News
Mandy Bujold then started the process of writing a formal letter to give The IOC the opportunity to widen the criteria, based on these unforeseen circumstances. When no response was received to their initial letter, Bujold and her lawyer, Sylvie Rodrigue filed an appeal to the International Olympic Committee which they lost earlier this year.
“The legal angle for Mandy is not a fairness issue, it’s a human rights violation, violation of the Olympic charter issue because of the pregnancy, which we think is different — it’s in a different category,” -Sylvie Rodrigue, Global News
Video Courtesy of Global News
The fight did not end there. Next, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Boxing Canada had appealed to the IOC on Bujold’s behalf. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that the qualification criteria must include an accommodation for women who were pregnant or postpartum during the qualification period and Bujold won the appeal.
"It is a great ending," Bujold said. "We fought hard for it, we did everything within our control, we literally left it on the ring, it’s probably the easiest way to say it." -Mandy Bujold, Sportsnet
Bujold, a two-time Pan American Games champion, will be the first woman to box for Canada at consecutive Olympics. Boxing events at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo kick off July 24th, with boxing events for men and women running until August 8th. We look forward to watching all the members of Team Canada compete and wish them the best of luck!
Mandy Bujold - Women's 51kg
Caroline Veyre - Women's 57kg
Myriam Da Silva - Women's 69kg
Tammara Thibeault - Women's 75kg
Wyatt Sanford - Men's 69kg