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Victoria's de Goede injured and out of Olympics in major blow to Canada

The Langford-based Canadian women rugby sevens team’s hopes for the podium in the 2024 Paris Olympics this month suffered a major blow
Rugby standout Sophie De Goede. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The Langford-based Canadian women rugby sevens team’s hopes for the podium in the 2024 Paris Olympics this month suffered a major blow with standout Sophie de Goede of Victoria, one of the best players in the world, ruled out due to a devastating injury.

The Oak Bay Secondary graduate tore her ACL during training and will miss not only the Olympics but will likely be gone the rest of the year. The Saracens pro player is the captain of Canada’s world No. 2-ranked XVs team and is a key performer on Canada’s world No. 5 Olympic-bound sevens team.

The timing of the injury makes it all the more crushing. The Olympic women’s rugby tournament runs July 28-30 at the Stade de France with Canada drawn into a difficult Pool A with defending 2020 Tokyo Olympics champion New Zealand, 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze-medallist Fiji and China.

“I’m sad to share that I tore my ACL in an international training camp last week. Unfortunately, this means putting the Olympic dream on hold for now,” said de Goede, in a statement.

It will be a long road back.

“It’s hard to really wrap my head around what the next while could look like,” said de Goede, a dual rugby and basketball star at Oak Bay and Queen’s University.

“I’m sure there will be many ups and downs. Progress isn’t linear, but I’ll strive to embrace and attack this challenge with as much determination as I know I can.”

Her heart will be in Paris this month, even if her body can’t be.

“I’ll be cheering the girls on at the Olympics, WXV [Canada XVs] and Sarries [Saracens], and I look forward to rejoining them as soon as I can with newfound strength and resilience,” said de Goede.

“I have an incredible team around me and feel very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.”

The Canadian sevens team roster for the Paris Olympics will be announced Wednesday.

Canada advanced to Paris by winning the women’s North American and Caribbean Olympic qualifying tournament held last August at Starlight Stadium.

The Canadian men’s sevens team, also based in Langford, did not qualify for the Paris Olympics after its quarter-final appearance at Tokyo 2020.

Canada placed second to the U.S. in the direct North American and Caribbean Olympic qualifier for Paris 2024 held last summer at Starlight Stadium and placed fourth last month in the last-chance world qualifier in Monaco with South Africa earning the 12th and final berth into the Paris Olympics.

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