Brock grad secures spot in Paris 2024 Olympics

After years of dedication and sacrifice, Brock University graduate Hannah Taylor (BSM ’21) will make her dreams a reality when she steps into the wrestling arena at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Taylor secured her spot on Team Canada at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifiers in Acapulco, Mexico, on Feb. 29.

“When I won my final match, I broke down and cried. For years I’ve been dreaming of going to the Olympics even before ever knowing what sport would take me there,” Taylor said. “To describe the feeling is extremely difficult.”

Her performance at the international qualification tournament included a strategic approach. She competed at the Pan-Am Championships the previous week to enhance her seeding in the women’s 57-kilogram weight class, entering the qualifiers as the third seed.

In the quarter-final match, Taylor overcame Jacqueline Hernandez Gonzalez from Honduras, securing a 10-0 victory by superiority and setting the stage for her final showdown against Alma Valencia Escoto from Mexico.

Despite Valencia Escoto’s attempts to cut into Taylor’s early lead, the Canadian wrestler emerged victorious with an 8-4 win.

Taylor is no stranger to the podium. She’s been a member of the national team since 2019 and has claimed nine national championships, including two bronze medals at the Under-23 World Wrestling Championships.

During her time at Brock, Taylor won four Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medals in conjunction with two OUA Outstanding Wrestler of the Year awards. She won U SPORTS silver and three golds on the national stage, including U SPORTS Rookie of the Year in 2017.

A native of Summerside, P.E.I., Taylor’s journey to the Olympics is not just a personal triumph but also a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes across Canada.

“I’ve received hundreds of messages from people around Canada, and especially from Prince Edward Island saying how proud I’ve made them,” Taylor said. “Making it to this level will hopefully inspire the next generation of athletes in Canada to dream big.”

Taylor is one of more than 280 wrestlers who will compete across 18 weight categories at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The wrestling events will take place from Monday, Aug. 5 to Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Champ de Mars Arena.

“When I was younger, I used to play the Olympic game on my PlayStation, I used to watch the Olympics and I didn’t care what sport it was going to be, I knew my dream was to go to the Olympics,” Taylor said. “Now that this moment is finally here, I can’t even put it into words.”

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