While donning the Team Canada jersey, Saskatoon’s Krista Phillips had something special to celebrate this Canada Day — and so did her parents John and Janet.
Not only did Phillips capture an Olympic berth in Turkey on July 1 with the women’s national basketball team, but the country’s birthday also marked her parents’ 29th wedding anniversary.
“It was a pretty awesome anniversary present. It was very intense. We were so thrilled,” said Janet, who watched the game from Saskatoon on the Internet.
The Canadian women’s basketball team has not appeared in the Olympics since Sydney’s Summer Games in 2000. The Olympic berth is also a momentous feat for Phillips’ career, too, who has already played professionally in the United States and Australia.
“It’s huge. I’ve been dreaming of it since I started playing basketball in grade three or four. It’s amazing to have accomplished your dreams,” explained the 24-year-old.
Phillips flies to London on July 20 with Team Canada and will compete against Russia on July 28.
Q&A with Krista Phillips
You’re the only player from Saskatchewan on Team
You’re the only player from Saskatchewan on Team Canada. What’s that like?
“It’s what makes our team special. Not everyone is from Ontario and not everyone is from British Columbia.”
You’re six-foot-six. What’s it like being the tallest person wherever you go?
“I hardly notice it. It never seems to get old. I wouldn’t be here with out my height so I just embrace it and enjoy.”
How important is it playing for your country after a decade-plus of Canada failing to qualify for the Olympics?
“Up until now we’ve experienced quite a bit of heartache. To get there 12 years later is monumental for us. It’s a great step in the right direction for the women’s program.”