It would seem the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop three young martial artists from competing at the WKC Canadian Nationals in Ottawa.
Like every other event, the national competition was cancelled from its usual May long weekend date, which also affected the world competition that was scheduled to be in Spain.
However, KMAC black belt Josh Carriere never lost hope and kept training alongside Ocean Avery and Sebastien Maillet in anticipation that the event would be rescheduled.
With COVID numbers being down, organizers decided to try for an August event, leaving most competitors with little time to prepare.
In Ontario, martial arts schools have been slowly reopening since June. KMAC is set to open officially on Sept. 13. The event drew fewer competitors than normal, as KMAC was also the only team north of Barrie to compete.
Coach Chris Fortin said it was clear that the best and most dedicated were in attendance.
Carriere won the gold medal in Chinese forms, a silver for men’s Korean forms, a silver in men's 85-kg continuous fighting, and a silver in the men's 85-kg point sparring.
Maillet, of Valley KMAC, won gold in men’s Korean forms, and silver in men's Chinese forms and men's 75-kg point sparring.
Ocean Avery won gold in 13-14 girls 55-kg point sparring division and a bronze in Korean forms.
Fighting Coach Joe Carriere said, “It was a long layoff from competition,” said fighting coach Joe Carriere. “To go out and compete and win nine medals under all that has been going on in the world over the past 18-plus months is golden.”