Episode: 7 Wanda Guenette and Michelle Sawatzky-Koop

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Episode 7 features two Olympians, Wanda Guenette and Michelle Sawatzky-Koop!

After winning a national championship in women’s volleyball at the University of Winnipeg in 1983, Guenette, a Winnipeg native, took a six-year hiatus from the game before playing professional in Europe. Once she got back into the swing of things, she earned her spot on the Canadian national team that qualified for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA.

Sawatzky-Koop had an incredible career at the University of Manitoba, where she helped the Bisons win national championships in 1990 and 1991. She was also named the CIS Player of the Year in the 90-91 and 91-92 seasons. The Steinbach native earned her spot on the Canadian national team prior to the ’96 Olympics.

Guenette, who was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, and Sawatzky-Koop, the emcee at the annual Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, were key contributors to Canada’s lone win at the Olympics. They defeated Peru in a five set thriller, which was the first time the Canadian women had ever won a game at the Olympics.

On this episode, we talked about Manitoba’s dominance in women’s volleyball in the 80s and 90s, their favourite university memories, the Wesmen-Bisons rivalry, winning bronze at the 1995 Pan Am Games, qualifying for the Olympics in Winnipeg, their favourite Olympics memories and much more!

Read our story on Wanda Guenette and Michelle Sawatzky-Koop in the Winnipeg Free Press

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