Dan Jansen VanDoorn is hoping to make the cut in Rio
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 8, 2016 – The Canada men’s team have qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1992 and Dan Jansen VanDoorn has been getting a few days’ rest in Canada ahead of his busy summer.
Canada knocked China out of contention for the Olympic berth after a five-set 3-2 (25-16,20-25,24-26,25-20,15-9) victory on Sunday and then had to wait for Poland to eliminate Australia and guarantee their ticket to Rio.
“Just to be a part of it is probably the most meaningful thing that has happened in my life,” Jansen VanDoorn told BC Local News. “For me personally, it has been a bucket list item. I feel it has made all the sacrifice worth it.
“Over the past couple of years, going into the gym when I didn’t want to and missing birthdays and Christmases because I am training over there, it is hard to describe right now, it is still so fresh.”
Jansen VanDoorn played for Trinity Western University, where he helped the Spartans win the national championship in 2012. After graduating in 2013, he turned pro and has been playing in France and Greece. He has been a member of the national team since 2013. Jansen VanDoorn is one of three former Spartans on the Canadian side, along with Steven Marshall and Rudy Verhoeff.
Verhoeff is the Canadian team captain and commented after their final game against China on Sunday: “We battled today; it was a lot of pressure. We’ve been in this situation before when we had a shot to get to Rio, and last time we were in that position we crumbled pretty hard. Today I’m happy with our resiliency. I’m proud of how we fought today.”
Canada will have a two-day training session in Gatineau, Quebec, before the team competes in the FIVB World League with rounds in Prague, Saskatoon, Helsinki and Portugal. The players will then have a week off before two weeks of training prior to the Olympics.
Canada is in a group alongside Brazil, Italy, the United States, France and Mexico. The top four teams from the pool qualify for the elimination round.
But while Canada currently have 14 players on their roster, only 12 will be chosen for the Olympics.
“We are going to have to leave two guys behind,” Jansen VanDoorn said. “It will be motivation for me to train even harder to make sure that I am on the travelling roster. Everyone will do the same thing and it will help us as a group. I will just trust that if I keep working hard, hopefully it will pay off.”