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Para-Karate Athletes Take Gold and Silver

May 25, 2024

PUNTA DEL ESTE, UY—Para-karate athletes, Natalie Olson and Patricia Wright, capped off a medal-winning week for Canada, adding a gold and silver medal to the team’s haul on Saturday at the Pan American Karate Championships in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

Calgary’s Natalie Olson captured the nation’s third gold medal of the week, while Patricia Wright (Chatham, Ont.) put a silver lining around a successful ending to the tournament for the Canucks.

Olson, a third-degree black belt and first Canadian with Down Syndrome to earn a black belt, successfully defended her title at the prestigious international competition, taking top spot on the podium in the women’s intellectually impaired K22 classification.

Olson finished ahead of Chile’s Lucero Alverez.

Ontario’s Patricia Wright also put in a strong showing in the women’s intellectually impaired K21 division where she placed second. Wright, who won gold at the 2023 Senior Pan American Championships, finished just behind Chile’s Maria Jose Vergara Rauque following a solid performance. Jamie Green and Alejandra Payan, of the United States, shared the bronze medal.

“The Pan American Championships was a huge success for Canada’s Para-karate athletes,” said Heather Fidyk, coach, Karate Canada. “Patricia competed in the first round to win against the USA and lost to Chile by a slim margin to earn a silver medal. Natalie debuted a new kata to successfully win gold.  These two have proven themselves as great Canadian athletes once again and we are very proud of their performance.’

Para-karate athletes compete in the kata division which is a series of detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements that is performed individually.

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