Sport: Rugby Games: Rio 2016 Bronze Medallist
Born: October 20, 1996
As one of Canada’s most promising young female rugby players, this native of Toronto attended Central Tech High School. She fell in love with the game at the age of 14 and rapidly earned skills to move to the club level, provincial level, and then national team level in three short years. Just as she was turning 17 in 2013, Charity was selected to represent the Women’s Maple Leafs roster for the Tobago International Rugby Sevens Tournament. This earned her virtual reality glasses a place on the Canadian Women’s Sevens Youth Olympic Team, which finished in second place at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Stepping it up a notch, she made her Canada Women’s Sevens Team debut during the 2014–15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series season at the Sao Paulo Sevens. She completed the 2015–16 WSWS season in the final three tournaments for Canada. Williams has five career WSWS tries.
This article has been put together with information from the following sources:
‘Freaking historical win’: Canadian women capture Olympic bronze in rugby sevens
Toronto pair Ghislaine Landry and Charity Williams help Canada to Olympic bronze medal in women’s rugby sevens in Rio
Toronto athletes have connection to Canada’s first four Olympic medals in Rio
City Centre Mirror
By Norm Nelson
A couple of Toronto residents played a key role in helping Canada earn a bronze medal in women’s rugby sevens at the Rio Olympics Monday, Aug. 8.
And both say they were introduced to the sport in Grade 9 at their respective Toronto high schools — 28-year-old Ghislaine Landry at Lawrence Park Collegiate and 19-year-old Charity Williams at Central Tech.
“As a kid it was my dream, today it’s a medal around my neck. What a feeling!” tweeted Landry, who again led the Canadian team in scoring with 41 points.
Both Landry and Williams quickly graduated to club level — Landry, who grew up in the area of Lawrence Avenue and Avenue Road, with Toronto Scottish, and Williams with Markham Irish — and then on to provincial and national teams.
The Canadian team earned the bronze medal with a 33–10 win over Great Britain Monday, avenging an earlier 22–0 loss in a preliminary round game.
Canada was relegated to the bronze medal match with a 17–5 loss to eventual gold medallist Australia earlier Monday. Canada won its quarter-final game Sunday 15–5 over France to go along with wins in its two other preliminary round games, 45–0 over Japan and 38–0 over host Brazil.
The bronze was not unexpected — Canada had been Top 3 in the world the last couple of years.
And Landry leading the Canadian team in scoring over the six games in three days in Rio with 41 points, including a team-leading 18 points in the bronze medal win over Great Britain, was also not a surprise.
She has led the world rugby sevens series in scoring over the past three years, and is the series second top scorer of all time.
Williams chipped in her only try (five points) in Rio, scoring the lone Canadian try in the semi-final loss to eventual Olympic champion Australia.
It capped two incredible summers for the Canadian team, which won the rugby sevens event at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
In a year-end interview, Landry expected the Pan Am Games experience would set the stage for Rio: “It (the Pan Am Games) was our first multi-sport event for our team so we got a little bit of a taste of what that atmosphere is like.
“We know that Pan AMS is much smaller than the Olympics, but for us it was a good opportunity to see what the (athletes’) village was like, be part of Team Canada, meet other athletes, hear their stories and just start to learn.”
It was also a rare chance for her to compete in front of family, friends and supporters.
“I actually had 50 family members at Pan AMS watching,” she said. “To have them be there and be part of that was really important to me because they supported me my whole life. And to kind of share that moment with them was special.”
Williams, meanwhile, in a July interview just prior to leaving for Rio, told Metroland Media it was not a given that she would make the Canadian team at this early stage of her career despite being in the national team program for the last three years.
“I wouldn’t say I was completely confident that I would make selections,” she said. “But I was confident in the work I put out leading up.
“So at the end of the day, I knew I gave my very best. The rest would be up to the coaching staff, who looked at the year overall and training and came up with the best 12 they think will win Olympic gold.”
To say she was excited to get the call was an understatement:
“To be going to my first Olympics is such an accomplishment for me, especially because I am only 19,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t think there are any words really to describe this feeling. My one and only dream has come true while leaving me the opportunity to seize it again and again in future games.