Rio 2016 Olympian Lanni Marchant was present at Thursday’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) meeting in Ottawa to discuss Canadian women and girls in sport.
In front of select members of parliament at 1 Wellington Street, Marchant, 32, spoke about the need to end commentary on the physical appearances of female athletes. Mandy Bujold, a Canadian boxer, joined Marchant as individual speakers at the committee’s meeting.
She begins by noting that the representation among males and females in running are nearly equally divided, including supporting evidence from Athletics Canada. The 32-year-old goes on to speak on a number of topics including her personal experiences, trends and sport policies among other issues.
— Larry Maguire (@LarryMaguireMP) October 27, 2016
Marchant and Krista DuChene were the first women since 1996 to represent Canada at the Olympics in the marathon this summer in Rio. She says that “they (Athletics Canada) keep moving the goal posts” as the standards become increasingly tough to reach. “You have to stop setting standards to eliminate women,” she says.
— Seamus O'Regan (@SeamusORegan) October 27, 2016
“We need to see ourselves as equals and stopping asking for permission to be seen as equal,” she goes on to say. Marchant also notes that the world governing body has equalized distances among males and females for senior cross-country distances. Though Athletics Canada has adopted equal distances at senior nationals, university policies have not changed. Junior runners continue to race differing distances in cross-country at the international level.
MPs Julie Dabrusin, Seamus O’Regan and Larry Maguire among others were present to ask Marchant questions and hear her views on the subject. According to the CHPC website, the committee studies policies and programs and are active in the fields of culture, heritage and human rights.
The entire broadcast can be found here. The video you see at the top of this page includes select clips of Marchant.