Canadian Olympic medallist Valois-Fortier retires from competitive judo

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MONTREAL — Canadian judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier announced his retirement Thursday, ending a career that included an Olympic bronze medal and three World Championship podium finishes.

Valois-Fortier, from Quebec City, appeared in three Olympic Games. He defeated American Travis Stevens in the men's 81-kilogram bronze-medal match at the 2012 London Games to win what was Canada's first Olympic judo medal since Nicolas Gill in 2000.

He took silver in the weight class at the 2014 world championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and added bronze medals at the 2015 worlds in Astana, Kazakhstan and the 2019 event in Tokyo.

He also picked up eight Pan American championship medals, including three gold, and eight International Judo Federation Grand Prix medals (two gold).

Valois-Fortier lost his round-of-16 match earlier this year at the Tokyo Olympics, and said at the time we would digest the result before deciding on his future.

Valois-Fortier will remain involved with judo as coach of Canada's senior national team.

"Judo still takes up most of my time,” Valois-Fortier said in a release. "I train every day, and I’m slowly getting used to my new role. It’s important to me that I adapt to it well. As an athlete, you’re often very focused on yourself. Now, I have to focus on everyone else, which is going well so far.

"I get to fall in love with my sport all over again, but from a new angle."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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