Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Volleyball player returns home with third Master's gold

  • Print
Beach volleyball player Wanda Guenette, 51, arrives home to Winnipeg with cheers from family and friends after winning gold in beach volleyball with partner Laura Inward at the World Master's Games in Italy.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Beach volleyball player Wanda Guenette, 51, arrives home to Winnipeg with cheers from family and friends after winning gold in beach volleyball with partner Laura Inward at the World Master's Games in Italy. Photo Store

With a dazzling smile and a bemused shake of her head, beach volleyball player Wanda Guenette, had to be coaxed to show off her gold medal at the Richardson International Airport Friday morning.

Guenette won gold in beach volleyball with partner Laura Inward at the World Master's Games in Turino, Italy.

Guenette  is a former member of Canada's national women's volleyball team which competed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She and her partner have won gold twice before, at the World Masters Games in Edmonton and again in Sydney. This is their third gold, a hard-fought hat trick for the star athlete with a quiet manner and steely stamina.

Her determination inspired close friends, including a student, to greet her as a conquering hero at the arrival lounge.

"I was up until 3 a.m. painting this," said Paityn Devlin, 15, as she and her friend and fellow artist Brooke Lawson held up a yellow banner, with the name "Wanda" painted in wide, bright letters and glowing with sparkles, at the foot of the arrival’s escalator.

In addition to personal training, Paityn is on the High Line beach volleyball team that Guenette coaches.

To say the teen sees Guenette as a role model would be an understatement. Her entire family joined her in the arrivals lounge.

"I did not expect this," said the soft-spoken athlete as she stepped off the escalator, the only passenger on a flight out of Montreal to be greeted with a banner, lights and cameras.

"She didn’t warn me about this," Guenette said shyly.

The "she" is Paityn’s mother Carla Devlin, a big fan and close friend who wanted the athlete to bask in some well-deserved recognition.

"Anybody who wins a medal, an accomplishment like that should be acknowledged," Carla said.

This accomplishment, however, is special. It represents an achievement against some big odds stacked against the athlete, her friend said.

At 51, the athlete competes in a sport that draws a far younger crowd, even with the relaxed age standards at the Masters, which touts its competitions as open to everyone from age 0 to 100.

Beyond age, Guenette competes now with the challenge of arthritis.

"To win a gold medal at 50 years old and she suffers from arthritis a lot... It’s such a huge accomplishment," Carla said.

The World Masters Games are known as the most important sporting event in the world for athletes over 30, involving four times the number of athletes who compete in the summer Olympics held every four years.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maurice Leggett on his three inceptions vs. Alouettes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012
  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comment that Tina Fontaine’s slaying was a crime, and not part of a larger sociological problem?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google