By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Wanda Guenette spent nearly four decades in the game of volleyball, dominating the court and the sand.
She picked up the game in seventh grade while attending Munroe Junior High School and continued her development at Miles Macdonell Collegiate before committing to play for the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.
Some would say she was destined for athletic greatness as she is the daughter of Blue Bomber legend and CFL Hall of Famer, Ernie Pitts. Still, Guenette carved out an incredible career for herself and became one of the province’s best athletes.
The first major accolade of her career came while she was playing for the Wesmen. She was named an All-Canadian in 1983 and helped the club win their first of six consecutive national championships with a 3-0 win over the Calgary Dinos.
Following her collegiate success, she spent five years away from the game to work. In 1988, she was recruited to play professionally in Europe and picked up her dominance right where she left off.
During her pro career, she spent time in Germany (1988-1990), France (1990-1991), Italy (1992-1993), Spain (1996-1998), and Belgium (1999-2000).
Her talents overseas didn’t go unnoticed back home, as in 1991 she was selected by the Canadian national teams beginning a nine-year stint with the program.
Guenette represented the country at three Pan American Games (1991, 1995, 1999), two World Cups (1991, 1995), and five consecutive NORCECA Championships (1991-1999).
Perhaps her biggest event came in 1996 when she was named to the Canadian Olympic team, which finished ninth in the Atlanta Games.
While she had achieved great success on the volleyball court, Guenette took her talents to the sand and picked up beach volleyball in 2001.
She and her playing partner, Laura Inward, went on to win three straight World Masters Games gold medals to cap off her career in 2005, 2009, and 2013.
While she was playing, Guenette took up coaching beach volleyball and was a part of Manitoba’s staff for the 2009 and 2013 Canada Summer Games.
Her talents were immortalized in 2014 when she was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
This blog was made possible by support from the Community Museum Support Project.