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Wushu competitors go for gold

Martial art is one of many unique sports at 2018 Ontario Winter Games

The 2018 Ontario Winter Games affords local sports fans the opportunity to check out some unique competitions that are outside the mainstream for many.

In addition to sports such as fencing, mixed doubles curling, ringette and target shooting, this year’s massive 25-sport event also features Wushu, one of the most unique of the disciplines at this year’s competition.

While it may be relatively unknown by some, the sport is popular and has attracted 171 competitors who are going for gold at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes High School.

Wushu is a form of contemporary Chinese martial arts that blends elements of performance and martial application. Wushu training emphasizes quickness, explosive power and natural, relaxed movement. The Wushu practitioner must combine flexibility with strength, speed with flawless technique, and fierce intent with effortless execution.

Wushu is comprised of two main categories: Taolu (Routine Performance) and Sanda (Sport Combat). Both formats are being showcased at the Ontario Winter Games.

If you pay a visit to Bracebridge to check out this sport, you may see a familiar face. Elvis Stojko, the three-time world champion and Olympic silver medal-winning figure skater who rose to stardom while learning his craft at Doug Leigh’s world-renowned Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, is a judge at the competition.