Bainbridge Island’s Pacific Fusion Martial Sports Team in Taekwondo returned from the Junior Olympic Games with 36 gold medals, a grand championship as well as four silver medals and a bronze medal.
The team competed in 41 different events with a team of seven, and the Bainbridge athletes were the only Washington state medalists at the annual Junior Olympic Games, held July 26-28 in Des Moines, Iowa.
The martial arts athletes train out of Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts on Sportsman Club Road, and have been attending state tournaments this year in preparation for Nationals and Junior Olympics. All of the athletes have also been practicing by attending regular martial arts classes at Pacific Fusion as well as special competition team practices, with training accumulating to as many as 10 hours a week.
Team officials noted two special events during the games for the Bainbridge squad; the team put together a demonstration team category routine the night before, and entered with all seven athletes (ages 9 to 16 and Intermediate rank plus one Black Belt). Since the team had one Black belt they competed against a seasoned team from Texas of all Black Belt teens, and won with strong basics and great intensity even though the Black Belts added weapons and board breaking to their routine.
Also, in an open class grand championship, Lili Aduddell faced more than 20 Gold medalists of all ages and rank up through Black Belt and won the coveted top award for female grand champion.
Team members who traveled were Lillian Aduddell, Maddy Woods, Merida Prentice, Sunny Gregson, Harper Flynn, Richie Cacioppo, Trinity Rudolph.
Coaches Master Ken Aduddell, Master Stephanie Aduddell and Lillian Aduddell.
Head Coach Ken Aduddell said the showing at the Junior Olympic Games was an incredible accomplishment, and none of them had experience in competitive martial arts; each of the team members just started competing this January, and only one of the athletes had ever been to a tournament prior to this season.