Sarnia rugby player excited for Olympic experience

Sarnia rugby player Julia Greenshields (Photo courtesy of Kevin Light)

Sarnia’s Julia Greenshields will be representing Canada at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 29-year-old was recently named to the women’s rugby sevens team for the games, which get underway July 23. The rugby portion runs from July 29-31.

Greenshields, a former Sarnia Saints star, said she’s feeling a wide range of emotions.

“I’m feeling really nervous, anxious, excited, everything. This is my first Olympics ever. I’ve been on this team for nearly 10 years now, so it’s all becoming a reality.”

Greenshields said she can’t wait to get started but knows it will be a different experience.

“There won’t be any crowds, fans or extra people in the village,” said Greenshields. “I am really excited just to get to Japan. I always love going to Japan, they’re so amazing there. I’m excited to get our rugby kits, get our Canadian kit, get on the pitch and play and represent Canada.”

She said the support from the Sarnia-Lambton community has been amazing, and believes the squad can be a podium-finisher at the games.

“Obviously, we’re going for gold. In 2016 we got bronze, and before the pandemic hit we were building momentum. We were consistently taking bronze and silver on the world series stage. I think we’re a medal contender and I think our team is in a really good place right now.”

Greenshields and the team qualified for the Olympics in 2019 after capturing a bronze medal at the World Series Sevens tournament in France.

She was a reserve on the 2016 Olympic squad, and competed in the Commonwealth Games and World Rugby Cup Sevens in 2018.

Greenshields has more than 50 tries and 15 conversions in over 120 career Sevens Series matches.