Canadian judokas did exactly what they said they were going to do. Still unable to train with contacts in Quebec, in accordance with public health directives, the finest Olympic hopefuls chose to go into exile in Lethbridge, Alberta.
They are nine to have set sail for Western Canada for a period of three weeks, in order to prepare adequately for the resumption of international competitions.
The athletes will reside in a hotel near the judo club which is part of the regional training centers of Judo Canada. They will be in a sort of “bubble” and will not interact with the locals.
“It is a concept designed to minimize risks and ensure everyone's safety. They will train, eat and live together exclusively “, explains Nicolas Gill , general manager and high performance manager.
The Quebec government recently allowed top athletes, such as judokas, to return to the facilities of the Institut national du sport du Québec. They cannot however practice combat sports, because social distancing would obviously be impossible to respect.
“The pressure to resume as quickly as possible came from the international federation which is doing everything in its power to resume the season in September,” adds Gill. Our mandate remains to achieve results at the Olympic Games, and it became necessary to allow athletes to train in safe places. Having gone through the options, the Lethbridge facility is the perfect place for us right now. “
In a press release, Judo Canada clarified that “finding a place to train in combat has become essential in order for Canada to remain competitive on the international scene, while the different nations have not all dealt with the same containment measures in recent months. “
Canadian judokas present in Lethbridge
Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (- 63 kg)
Antoine Bouchard (- 73 kg)
Étienne Briand (- 81 kg)
Zachary Burt (- 90 kg)
Mohab El Nahas (- 90 kg)
Shady El Nahas (- 100 kg)
Arthur Margelidon (- 73 kg) Jacob Valois (- 66 kg)
Antoine Valois-Fortier (- 81 kg)