Military members medal at Pan-American taekwon-do tournament

Two men stand together, one displaying a gold medal around his neck the other with a gold and silver medal.
Two Canadian Armed Forces members display their medals after competing in the International Taekwon-Do Federation in Toronto Ont.

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By Major Luc Blanchette

Five Canadian Armed Forces members landed on the podium at the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) tournament held earlier this summer in Toronto, besting athletes from across North and South America.

The competition was divided into two main divisions; coloured belts and black belts. Both divisions competed in patterns and sparring, while the black belts also competed in power breaking

In the senior men’s coloured belt category, Lieutenant Eric Mailhot, from the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre, received a silver medal in sparring and a bronze medal in patterns. Captain Mike Mirtle, from the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, brought home a bronze for sparring and a bronze for patterns. Both are part of the Borden Taekwon-Do Club.

In the senior men’s black belt category, Capt Luc Fleurant, from 4 Canadian Division Training Center Detachment Petawawa, secured a gold medal in patterns and a silver medal in sparring. Corporal Gus Athanasopoulos, from 1 Royal Canadian Regiment, received a silver in patterns, a silver in sparring, and a bronze in power breaking. Maj Luc Blanchette, from the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre and an instructor at the Borden Taekwon-Do Club, received a gold medal in sparring, a silver medal in power breaking, and a bronze in patterns.

This international event was hosted by the Canadian Elite Taekwon-Do Federation under the direction of Federation President Choi Jung Hwa, the son of the founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi.

Following this event, many of the athletes now turn their focus to the nationals, which will take place in February 2018, and the World Championships, which will take place in Buenos Aires from July 31 to August 6, 2018.

Image gallery

  • A male Canadian military member kicks and breaks a stack of boards held by a volunteer as a judge watches during a competition.
  • Two men stand together, one displaying a gold medal around his neck the other with a gold and silver medal.
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