Santiago 2023's Stars: Emma Reinke, The Canadian Goal Scorer in Goalball

The North American player was the standout figure of the gold-winning team, preventing Brazil from achieving their third Pan American championship.

Sunday, November 26th, 2023.- The Female's team from Brazil had been the gold medalist in goalball in the last two editions of the Parapan American Games, and despite being the favorites coming into Santiago 2023, Canada surprised by eliminating them in the semifinals and subsequently taking home the gold medal. 

The North American team, which won five matches and lost only one, had Emma Reinke as their standout player, contributing with 25 goals. In every game, she was the most prominent player for the North American squad, just as it had been during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 

Reinke, born in Saint Thomas, Ontario, with premature retinopathy, meaning scars on her retinas that severely limit her vision, discovered goalball as part of her rehabilitation process and became a prominent goal scorer, as confirmed at Santiago 2023. 

Despite starting their title journey with a loss to the United States (5-3) in the group stage, Canada then went on a goal-scoring spree (11-1 against Peru, 10-0 against Chile, 10-0 against Mexico), with Reinke contributing 18 goals. 

The defining moment came when they defeated the favorite Brazil in the semifinals (4-3), with Reinke scoring three more goals. 

In the grand final, Canada faced the United States once again, but this time luck was on their side, and they avenged their earlier loss with a narrow 4-3 victory, featuring three new goals from Reinke, the shining star and top scorer of the Parapan American goalball champions. 

Written by Marcelo López; translated by Paulette Bertín / Santiago 2023 via Photosport
Photo by Christian Zapata / Santiago 2023 via Photosport