‘Proud to represent Canada’: Wrestler who trains in Montreal qualifies for 2024 Olympics

"Proud to represent Canada," says Linda Morais, wrestler who qualified for the 2024 Olympics. The Ontario-born athlete has been training in Montreal for over a decade hoping to realize her Olympic dreams. Pamela Pagano reports.

It’s been a long-term goal of hers for as long as she could remember, Linda Morais is off to the 2024 Olympics.

The wrestler from Ontario has been working on her moves at the National Training Centre in Montreal for over a decade to pursue wrestling at the senior level, and now she’s ready to live out her Olympic dreams in Paris. 

“I’m excited to meet people and feel that energy,” said Morais. “I’m obviously super excited to compete.”

“I’m very excited to represent Canada.”

Linda Morais wrestling at the Montreal Wrestling Club on July 2, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

Her favourite motto: “I didn’t come this far to only come this far.”

And she’s proving that.

The wrestler won a world championship in 2019 — Only four other Canadian women have won world titles in wrestling.

Morais came up short on qualifying for Tokyo 2020, and the Pam am qualifiers just a few months ago. 

“In Mexico for that qualifier, I put so much pressure on myself that I kind of just crumbled,” she explained. “Whereas in Turkey, I was like, alright, you know what, this is my last chance of trying to qualify for an Olympic team.”

“Let’s just go out there and have fun,” she added. “I kind of went back to my roots of trying to enjoy the moment.”

That’s where she punched her ticket to Paris.

Linda Morais wrestling at the Montreal Wrestling Club on July 2, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

“Just so surreal that moment,” said Morais. “They blew the whistle, the match is officially over. I look up and I’m the one that qualified like, I’m blown away.”

“I’m just so excited, I just want to run to the corner and hug my coach. He’s invested so much time into my development.”

The Montreal Wrestling Club on July 2, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

Her love for wrestling, began in grade eight -– with the encouragement from her father, the social aspect got her hooked to the sport. Her high school coach and talent got her to stick to it.

“I’d tell my younger self that it’s an incredibly difficult journey,” she said. “Don’t underestimate that.”

“But the peaks and the rewards are just such incredible memories.”

Morais will be training at a pre-camp in Ontario end of July, then she is off to Paris at the beginning of August.

Thanking her family, friends, and supporters for always being in her corner.

“I’m incredibly proud to represent Canada,” said Morais. “Every time I just see the Maple Leaf, it makes me smile.”

“I’m so excited to go out there and try to make as many Canadians proud.”

Linda Morais wrestling at the Montreal Wrestling Club on July 2, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

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