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'So over the moon': Montreal wrestler qualifies for 2024 Olympic Games

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Linda Morais is proving it's never too late to follow your dreams — the Montreal wrestler has stamped her ticket to Paris to compete in the Olympic games this summer in what may be her final time representing Team Canada.

She's back on the mat training for her first and possibly last chance at the biggest competition of her career.

"Honestly, I'm just so over the moon. People will just mention the Olympics and, like, I beam with a big smile," she told CTV News on Sunday.

"I mean, it's been a long time that I've been trying to qualify."

The wrestler was an alternate in 2016 and failed to qualify for her weight class in 2020. Now, at age 30, nearing the end of her career, she's realizing her Olympic dream.

"I just took it like one match at a time. I was, like, this might be the last six minutes I ever get to represent Canada, so I might as well just have fun," she said.

Linda Morais practises at the Montreal Wrestling Club on Saturday, May 26, 2024. (CTV News)

Morais qualified for the games after winning a bronze medal in Turkey. At the very last opportunity she clinched the final spot in the women's 68 kilogram weight class.

"We're a whole bunch of countries battling for those 16 spots and I was able to capture that last spot," she said.

Originally from Ontario, Morais has been training in Montreal for more than a decade. She's part of the Montreal Wrestling Club, sponsored by George and Eleanor Reintiz. But her journey started in Grade 8 when her dad suggested she try the sport.

"All my friends and family, they've just been such a big support system and I already have about 18 of them that have booked their flights to Paris," Morais said.

Morais is already a decorated grappler. She won a world championship in 2019 but says she expects Olympic competition to be a tough one.

"I hope to go to Paris and just make my country proud. My family, my friends and my coaches, they've all invested so much time into me and my development over the years, but I'm just hoping to make them all proud," she said.

Morais' first Olympic match is on Aug. 5 in what may be the final push of her career.

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