- Jul 23, 2021
Proud OPP Family Cheer On Canadian Women’s Water Polo Team at Tokyo Olympics
Sisters Claire (top left) and Emma (top right) Wright are competing at the Tokyo Olympics on the Canadian Women’s Water Polo Team. They are the great nieces to retired OPP Sergeant Debbie Hele and active A/Inspector Nathan Hele, and grand daughters of now 85yr old retired OPP Provincial Constable John McGuire. Pictured (lower left) is Emma and Claire’s great aunt, Sergeant Debbie Hele and uncle A/Inspector Nathan Hele and (lower right) PC John McGuire presenting OPP badge to his sisiter-in-law Sergeant Debbie Hele in 1982.
Retired 85yr old OPP Provincial Constable John McGuire is a proud grandfather and Retired OPP Sergeant Debbie Hele and active A/Inspector Nathan Hele are proud great aunt and great uncle as sisters Emma and Claire Wright, represent Canada on the Canadian Water Polo team, Claire as the first goalie, and Emma as the co-captain, at the postponed 2020 Olympics this week in Tokyo, Japan.
John, Debbie, Nathan and all Canadians will be keeping a close eye on the results after the opening ceremonies Friday evening, July 23, 2021. The Games have been delayed a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Canadian Water Polo team face Australia in their first match on July 24.
Emma Wright began playing water polo at the young age of nine. Water Polo is definitely in the family genes. Emma’s older sister Rebecca inspired Emma’s interest in playing Water Polo in Lindsay, Ontario, followed by a stint on the Shadow Water Polo team in Toronto. According to family, Emma was too young to stay home alone, so didn’t have a choice and was “coerced” into playing!
Emma, now 24 has been playing on the Canadian National Water Polo team since she was thirteen years of age, scoring her first goal for the senior women’s team at the young age of sixteen, more than five years younger than any other player on the team.
Emma is a dynamic force in the water and being co-captain showcases her strong leadership skills. Emma being a strong lefty, which in the game of water polo is like have gold in the water. She plays all positions as a utility player and is a force to be reckoned with!
Claire Wright did not begin playing water polo until she was sixteen years old. A competitive swimmer for many years, Claire came to the realization that she could excel in water polo and became the Toronto club’s goalie.
She was a quick and determined learner and soon closed the competitive gap with her Emma, earning a spot on the Canadian Junior National Team with only two years of water polo experience.
Claire showcased her skills at the world junior championship, shutting down Team USA on a final breakaway to take the gold! Claire is representing Canada as first goalie at the Olympics, a clear indication of her commitment and determination to the sport.
All three sisters have earned full athletic scholarships in the United States. Rebecca at the University of the Pacific where she earned her Masters In Education and Curriculum Development. Claire attended at Loyola Marymount where she earned both academic and water polo honours and Emma at Berkeley where she also earns both academic and water polo accolades each year.
Following their Olympic debut, Claire and Emma will return to their hometown of Lindsay for a well deserved rest, hopefully with some Olympic medals in tow! Claire returns to Toronto to begin post grad studies at Chiropractic College and Emma plans to return to Berkeley to complete her final year, then will be off to Europe to play water polo professionally.
Sergeant Debbie Hele (retired OPP Sergeant, 2013)
Wendy Wright (McGuire)