Montréal, September 5th, 2012 – Bronze medalist at the London Olympic Games in the -81 kg category, Antoine Valois-Fortier will soon embark on a Canada-wide tour to share his latest experience and expertise with groups of aspiring judokas ranging from 13 to 17 years of age.
His journey will begin in mid-September, where he will meet up with the boys and girls of the Jonquière dojo. In October he’ll move on to Moncton, Halifax, Toronto, followed by visits to Vancouver and Saskatoon.
Just 22 years of age, Valois-Fortier made his way on to the Olympic podium by defeating American Travis Stevens on July 31st. It was the first Olympic medal won by a Canadian judoka since the Sydney Games in 2000, where Nicolas Gill took home the silver medal in the under 100 kg class.
“It’s important for me to share my Olympic experience with these youngsters because the London Games were truly the most emotional and exciting times of my entire life, the bronze medalist explained. It was the type of experience I’d been dreaming of my entire career, and I want to show these kids that I’m just a regular guy who worked hard and maybe believed in himself a bit more than most.”
When he was 10 years old, Antoine was graced by the presence of Nicolas Gill at the Beauport Dojo. The man who would eventually become his coach years later had also made the rounds, talking with young judokas about his silver medal triumph.
“Nicolas had a big impact on my career and I clearly remember his visit to my dojo. He really impressed and inspired me as well. I’m hoping that the kids I’ll meet will understand that with a lot of effort and sacrifice, anything is possible! In my opinion, sports have a way of forming your upbringing. In my case, it’s what’s driven me to achieve some of my greatest goals!
Dates for the Antoine Valois-Fortier national tour
September 15-16 Jonquière, Québec
October 12 Moncton, New Brunswick
October 14 Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 27-28 Toronto, Ontario
December 27-28 Vancouver, British Colombia
December 29-30 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada