Students from Northern Taekwon-Do Academy win gold at nationals

The inaugural national competition for students competing with the Northern Taekwon-Do Academy included 18 medals, from gold to bronze.
Four youth from the Northern Taekwon-Do Academy stand on podiums while wearing white uniforms called doboks. They stand in front of a yellow square banner for a tekwon-do competition. They each have medals hanging from their necks.
Quinn Basko stands at the top of the podium after she won gold in sparring while competing with fellow athletes from Northern Taekwon-Do Academy at the National Taekwon-do Championships this May. Photo provided.

Northern Taekwon-Do Academy athletes won four gold medals from the national competition and earned 18 total podium placements.

From May 6 to 8, athletes competed in sparring and pattern at the Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

The weekend marked the first national-level competition for all of the students from Sun Peaks, and chief instructor Ryan Oevermann said having national champs is “awesome.”

“Having one national champion from the school is awesome for us – to have four is pretty cool,” Oevermann said.

Oevermann, who also competed and won bronze,  explained competing with Parkinson is a win in itself.

“I’m 48 years old with Parkinson’s – by competing, I’m winning already.”

Preparing for the weekend involved mock competitions at Northern Taekwon-Do Academy, including sparring rings, tournament etiquette, a live audience and judging, all of which help athletes mentally prepare, according to Oevermann.

“You want to focus on your zone,” Oevermann explained. “Forget about everyone else around you – people in the stands, people on the sides – forget about all that stuff. Just be here, present in the moment.”

The medals athletes walked away with trended differently than previous competitions, according to Oevermann. The students often performed well in patterns, but they excelled in sparring this time.

Two taekwon-dp athletes fight on a red and blue mat inside a large gym. A coach and a referee watch them. There are blue seats in the stands located in the background of the photo with audience members in some of the chairs.
Jack Mallinson executes a turning kick (dollyo chagi) and won silver in sparring and bronze in pattern. Photo provided.

The excellence in sparring in this competition came from the use of a specific technique Oevermann recommends to students – using their front leg defensively and offensively to help block their body off against an opponent. When their body is protected, opponents can’t easily score points by landing a blow on an athlete’s torso.

Gold medalists in sparring for the weekend were awarded to Tristan Strokon, Quinn Basko, Jackson Vandesteeg and Peter Vandesteeg.

Silver medals in sparring went to Chase Melnyk, Beckett Nunes and Jack Mallinson.

Bronze medal winners in patterns were awarded to Chase Melnyk, Peter Vandesteeg, Lindsay Vandesteeg, Ryan Oevermann and Jack Mallinson.

Sparring also saw six athletes earn bronze medals, including Gage Bowie, Montana Oevermann, Thomas Schwanke, Leeland Nunes, Lilly Kunze and Jackson Doyle.

While Taekwon-Do athletes from Sun Peaks are done for the summer, fans of the sport can look forward to the Taekwon-Do World Championships in Finland from Sep. 4 to 10.

Editors note, May 19, 9:22 a.m.: this article has been updated to correct Ryan Oevermann’s age.

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