Canada basketball
Canada Basketball

Record five Canadian officials receive medal round assignments at Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games

TORONTO, Ont. (September 29, 2021) – Canada Basketball and Wheelchair Basketball Canada are proud to recognize the five Canadian referees who were selected, based on their hard work, dedication and performance, to officiate medal round games at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Canadians Matthew Kallio, Maripier (MP) Malo and Michael Weiland were three of the 30 FIBA referees selected for the Tokyo 2020 Men’s and Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament, while Nadine Crowley was one of just two FIBA Referee Instructor to be nominated.

“To be selected for the Olympic Games, referees are continuously evaluated at international tournaments on their performances and must exceed certain requirements to be nominated for a tournament of this level,” said Tim Heide, Chair, Canadian Basketball Officials Commission (CBOC).  “These assignments are a testament to their commitment to being the best and highlights the strength of the Canadian referee development pathway.”

As a result of their performances over the course of the tournaments, each Canadian was assigned to medal round games.

Weiland, who is in his 13th year as a FIBA Official, was selected to officiate the Men’s Gold Medal Game, while Malo, who officiated at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, including the championship game, in Riga and Daugavpils, Latvia prior to Tokyo, was nominated for the Women’s Gold Medal Game.  Kallio, a native of Edmonton, Alta., became the first Canadian to referee in the NBA after making his debut last season and was named to the officiating crew for the Men’s Bronze Medal Game.

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, referees Sebastien Gauthier and Alexandre Lapointe, as well as referee supervisor Sergio Giordano, represented Canada at the event.

Gauthier and Lapointe, both had outstanding tournaments and were rewarded for their performance and hard work on the court with Gold Medal game assignments. At his sixth Paralympic Games, Gauthier was nominated to officiate the Men’s Gold Medal Game, while Lapointe was nominated for the Women’s Gold Medal Game after making his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.

Steve Bach, president of the IWBF Americas Zone, was a part of the tournament technical committee.

CBOC is a committee under the auspices of Canada Basketball that promotes, advocates for, and provides a transparent, accountable, and consistent governance structure for the organization, administration, growth, and development of basketball officiating and basketball officials throughout Canada.

QUOTES

“To be able to represent your country alongside three other Canadians was an Olympic dream come true. I didn’t need the opening or closing ceremonies, I didn’t need to see the Olympic torch, I didn’t need to feel the buzz of a full arena. All I needed was time to feel and reflect on how fortunate I was to referee on the highest stage internationally. There will be no other Olympics like Tokyo 2020 and I am so proud I got to share it with Nadine, MP, and Michael. ” - Matt Kallio

“The Olympics was a dream that I had written down a long time ago when I was a little girl. My aspiration was at first to attend as an athlete. Through the years and my journey as an official, my ambition became gradually a goal broken down into steps, and more and more attainable. So thrilled that my dream came true this summer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  Most of all, I am so thankful to the support of all the people that believe in me, and help me in countless ways along the way. I will surely cherish those lifelong memories for a long time.” - Maripier Malo

“Within a unique environment with ever-changing challenges, it was essential to find a strategy in order to succeed at the Olympic competition. By turning the court into a sanctuary and finding calm, it presented the opportunity for a memorable, positive experience.” - Michael Weiland

“For me, attending the Olympic Games, while being one of eleven Level 2 Referee  Instructors in the world was unbelievable.  Being rewarded with the opportunity to work with and learn from the best referees in the world and having a front row seat to the highest level of basketball was both a challenge and a thrill that I will cherish forever.  However, the highlight of my Olympic experience was having had the opportunity to share it with other Canadians.  I am at a loss to find the words to express what it felt like to watch our three Canadian referees excel during the Olympic Games.” - Nadine Crowley

“It is an honour to represent Canada on the world stage, and Canadian officials are always well respected worldwide. I try to do my best to maintain that level of quality in any national or international competition I participate in. Being selected amongst all the top officials in the world to work at the Paralympics is an accomplishment. When I was nominated to work the men’s gold medal game, it brought lots of joy, and I was very proud. I was excited, but I also had thankful thoughts for my family, friends, and fellow referees back home who supported me so much over the years.” - Sebastien Gauthier

“I was focused on improving to earn the opportunity to represent Canada at my second Paralympics, and I was rewarded with an invitation to the Tokyo 2020 Games. It was an incredible feeling to be back on the court after almost 18 months without any games. On Day 10, I was selected to be the crew chief of the men’s semifinals between the United States and Spain, a big honour. Then, I reached my ultimate goal when I was chosen to officiate the women’s gold medal game.” - Alexandre Lapointe

“I have been fortunate to be selected four previous times, and this Paralympics was especially an honour to represent my country and our wheelchair basketball family as a referee supervisor. The wheelchair basketball community is small and one of the few sports that players, coaches, and officials talk off the court to share experiences and learn from each other. Also, to be close to the world's elite athletes is special to watch them exhibit their skills on the court.” - Sergio Giordano