It makes me proud to be associated with the strong and dedicated group of athletes and coaches that make up the Ontario Judo Team. Each and every athlete put their heart and soul into Day 1 of the individual judo competition here at the Canada Winter Games. I was impressed by the spunk and determination of Ontario’s judoka.
For their efforts the Ontario Team finished an outstanding day with one GOLD, two SILVER, and one BRONZE medal, along with two fifth place finishes and one seventh place finish!
GOLD went to Nicole Jenicek, of Brampton, for her dominant performance in the -57kg womens’ class. She systematically defeated each opponent decisively, leaving no doubt as to who the winner should be. When I asked Nicole afterwards about what drives her, she told me that “Dreams come true from dedication, hard work, will power and the support from loved ones.” It is obvious that Nicole has the formula for success. My congratulations go out to her family, coaches and friends!
Briana McCracken had a fantastic performance in the -52kg class and will proudly come home with a SILVER medal. She fought all her matches with grit and not surprisingly made it to the finals. Congratulations on winning the silver, Briana.
Jonah Burt, walked through his -81 weight class with relative ease. Although he did not win his final match against Jobb of BC, he did a spectacular job of winning a SILVER medal for Team Ontario.
Zachary Burt, got off to a tough start, but managed to end the day with a bang. He went into his BRONZE medal match with determination and spunk which resulted in him winning the match with a spectacular throw for ippon.
Tyler Kamino competed throughout the day with skill and determination. His efforts got him to the bronze medal match, but he unfortunately was unable to win the bronze. This put him in a very respectable 5th place finish.
Mackenzie Burt, our early bloomer in the -48kg class, show skill and class as she fought her way through her pool. Unfortunately, the way the pool matches worked out, Mackenzie was unable to advance to the medal rounds, leaving her in a 5th place finish.
Despite travel challenges and delays to get to Halifax, Kenora’s Luke Heatherington, put himself out there and fought with heart and determination. His efforts earned him a 7th place finish.
Overall, it was a successful if not long day! Four medals for the Ontario Judo Team on Day 1. Who knows how many on Day 2? Maybe all six!