Olympic Taekwondo athletes inspire youth at Winnipeg Championships ahead of Paris 2024 games

On Saturday, Winnipeg was the official send-off hub for local star Skylar Park and Josipa Kafadar from Burnaby B.C. attending the Paris 2024 Olympic games as Team Canada taekwondo competitors.

The duo made a special appearance at a youth, cadet and junior national taekwondo championships event earlier on Saturday for a meet and greet, and autograph session.

More than 300 young athletes, aged 10 to 16 were competing at the event.

Park grew up in Winnipeg and still trains in the city today. She says it was super exciting to attend the event and be able to have a special meeting with the competitors.

“It’s an honour to be here and meet the young athletes at the junior, synchronized and youth level. This is where I started my journey in sport as well, and this was my first competition,” she added.

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Park says this competition is where her journey began and she still remembers competing at nationals in 2010.

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“To be here with the taekwondo community, who shares that same passionate love for the sport is special, especially just to get me excited as I head out to the Olympic games,” she said.

In March, Park was in the city hosting a free training session for women of all ages. She said it was her way of repaying Winnipeggers after they gathered around her with pride and encouragement following her loss at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg taekwondo champ Skylar Park reacts to postponement of the Olympics'

Winnipeg taekwondo champ Skylar Park reacts to postponement of the Olympics

Park and Kafadar will soon be headed overseas to prepare for the Olympics, which open on July 26. “It’s my first Olympics and hopefully not my last,” said Kafadar.

Kafadar says she will be heading back home to Burnaby before heading off to Paris to compete.


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