Monika Eggens will train with Team Canada in Montreal for the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo. (Cathy Eggens/Special to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News)

Pitt Meadows athlete to represent Team Canada in 2020 Olympic games

Monika Eggens says she got her start in water polo with the Haney Neptune’s Aquatic Club

Pitt Meadows will be represented on the world stage next summer in Tokyo when a local athlete competes in the Olympic games.

Monika Eggens has been a member of the Canadian women’s national water polo team for the past 10 years and thanks the sport for the places its taken her.

“Being a part of this team has given me the opportunity to not only play the sport I love at the highest level, it has also given me the opportunity to travel the world and live in Hawaii, Italy, Greece and now Spain,” she said in an email to The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.

The Canadian women’s national team qualified for the Olympics next summer after winning a silver medal earlier this month at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

READ MORE: More talk about a Pitt Meadows pool

“After missing out on qualifying for the last two Olympics it’s definitely exciting to finally achieve our goal,” she said. “I am looking forward to next year as we not only want to compete at the Olympics we also want to reach the podium.”

Eggens will be in Montreal with the team training for the upcoming games, while also playing for a European club in Spain, to fit in “extra games.”

“Getting those opportunities to play water polo at the highest of levels has helped prepare me for the challenges of competing on the international stage,” she said.

However, the road to this level of competition hasn’t always been easy.

“I have spent the majority of the last 12 years away from my friends and family,” said Eggens. “Luckily my family has been incredibly supportive of my dream.”

Eggens started playing water polo with the Haney Neptune’s Aquatic Club when she was six-years-old and “old enough” to join, and she credits her mother for introducing her to the sport.

READ MORE: Haney Neptunes break decades-old club records at provincial swim meet

Eggens still has strong ties to Pitt Meadows where her parents and grandmother continue to live.

“You can usually find me cycling (on) Ford Road Detour or running the dyke at Pitt Lake with my dog,” she said. “You will also be able to find me at the pool in Pitt Meadows as soon as the city finally builds a new one!” she joked.

The Olympic games begin on July 24, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

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