Montreal, July 24, 2018 – The beginning of the selection process for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will have to wait a little longer for Antoine Valois-Fortier. The Quebecois judoka, who underwent surgery on Sunday for two disc herniations, is now back home.
“I started having problems in 2009. I was able to manage the pain for a few years, but it was always coming back. Recently, it was more intense, so I decided to go with the surgery, and fix it once and for all,” explained the bronze medallist at the London Olympic Games, who will be recovering for the next 9 to 12 weeks. “I look forward for it to be a thing of the past, so I can train and compete to show my full potential. My only goal is to perform well in 2020, and for that, the surgery was a necessary step.”
For the next month, Antoine Valois-Fortier will be resting. Walking will be the only activity prescribed by his doctor. “The objective is to activate everything, and to reduce the inflammation,” he said, relieved to be well surrounded during this resting period. “I’m lucky to have good support with my girlfriend, my family, and my friends.”
“We will do everything possible to support Antoine during his recovery so that he can come back as quickly as possible to his full potential for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director for Judo Canada.
While most judokas start the Olympic selection process during the summer, Antoine Valois-Fortier should start competing again during the winter, notably missing World Championships. Despite everything, the Quebecois is confident he’ll be able to represent Canada for his third Olympics in 2020.
“It’s a necessary evil if I want to go to Tokyo. I’m convinced that I have enough talent and experience to catch up when I get back on the mats,” he concluded.