SPORT INDEX


SEARCH 2000 Games



Date of Birth: 09/01/68
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Height: 5'3"
Weight: 134 lbs
Years on National Team: 14
 Michelle Buckingham doesn't have to look far for a reminder of what she's been through to get to Sydney, for what is surely her third and last Olympic Games.

 Getting the chance to wear the red maple leaf on the world's largest athletic stage has never been so difficult for her.

 In 1997, Buckingham required major reconstructive surgery to her left knee and just when she recovered from that, the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee gave out during a training session a year later.

 "I would call it satisfaction," said the 31-year-old from Ottawa as she described the enormous effort it took to get her to Sydney. "I spent a lot of time recovering from serious injuries.

 "Sure, there were times of doubt. After I suffered the second knee injury, I was devastated, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my sports career. It definitely made me think about what I wanted."

 When she emerged from the 1997 world championships with a fifth-place finish, a best-ever result, she knew she wanted another chance at Olympic gold.

 In order to get to Sydney, Buckingham needed to prove herself all over again.

 She did that and more winning her sixth national crown earlier this year, beating Montreal's Brigitte Lastrade with one powerful throw a mere 12 seconds into the final.

 The final destination on her road to recovery was complete.

 Bring on the Olympics.

 "For me to come home from Sydney happy, I will need a medal," she said without hesitation. "I haven't done all this work coming back from injuries for nothing. I've seen two opening and closing ceremonies ... I don't need another show.

 "I want to get a medal and I've got to do it this time. Winning the gold medal would make me the happiest, but a medal of any colour would be okay."

-- LISA BURKE -- Ottawa Sun

2000 Games
Sept. 18: Women's lightweight (57-kg): Lost in second-chance repechage, eliminated.


2000 Games Judo Coverage