Player Profile on Amanda Pinheiro (Yan)

April 28, 2020

Relive the 2014 IWBF Women's World Championship and get to know one of the rookies from Team BC.

Amanda Yan began her wheelchair basketball athletic career as a late entry athlete in 2011. Yan didn’t come from a high-performance sport background, or a career in stand-up basketball, but she came with a plan, set her goals and started along her Paralympic journey without any reservations. In a relatively short time, while focused on training and learning everything she could from coaches like Marni-Abbott Peter and Joe Higgins, she was named to the Canadian Women’s Senior team in 2013.  As the 2014 IWBF Women’s World Championship approached, Amanda did everything she could to make the Team Canada roster and compete at home in her first major international competition.  She took these games in, with limited playing time, but knew that the experience of being part of this team would lend well to her ultimate goal of attending the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio, Brazil.

Riding on the high of a World Champion gold medal, Yan and the Women’s National team set their sights onto the 2015 Para Pan-American games, which would act as a qualifying event for the 2016 Paralympic games.  Unfortunately, after being cut from the team, just prior to the 2015 Pan-American games, Yan saw herself sitting on the sidelines with a tough decision to make.  It was at this point in her limited high performance sport career, that Yan fully understood the world of sport and what it really meant to being a high-performance athlete.  She made the decision that to have the best chance to get back onto Team Canada and make the team for Rio, she would have to move to Toronto and train full time with the Wheelchair Basketball National Training Academy, which would provide her with the best high-performance training environment.   She already had her Bachelors Degree, and decided to put her CPA accounting dreams on hold to achieve this sport dream.  After the Toronto 2015 Para Pan-American games, Yan’s hard work of full time training at the Academy paid off and she was selected back onto the Senior team to represent Team Canada at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.  Yan competed in Rio where Team Canada Women’s National team finished in 5th place.  8 months after these Paralympic games, Yan retired from high performance sport and took the skills she finely tuned from sport and applied it to going back to school to work on her CPA; a designation she will receive in 2020.

Amanda's sport journey is one that reinforced the skills she had within her all along; discipline; preparedness; communication; and compassion for others.  Amanda reflects on the fact that all of these skills helped her prepare for success post-sport. "When you start with a plan and it doesn't go accordingly, you cannot give up. That's the time you need to reset, refocus and make changes to adjust your mindset to keep moving forward toward your ultimate goal".  By doing that, she knows she became not only a better athlete, but also set her up for success when she hung up her basketball shoes from the international stage.  To this day, Yan continues to play for the love of the game at a Provincial and recreational level with multiple teams.

Catch the action as Wheelchair Basketball Canada and CBC Sports Re-Live the 2014 IWBF Women’s World Championship Gold Medal Game Wednesday April 29, 2020 @9am PT

Oh….and here is another great game to watch.  Amanda’s last game representing Canada on the international stage.  Rio 2016 Paralympics Preliminary Game between Canada and Germany.  September 11, 2016

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