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B.C. mettle proves to be of the finest medieval fighting quality

B.C.-heavy Team Canada brings home 5 medals from the International Medieval Combat Federation world championships

Team Canada brought home five medals from the International Medieval Combat Federation world championships that were held in Mexico from May 2 to 5. It was the greatest showing Canada has ever had at the IMCF World Championships since it began participating in 2014.

“It was a pretty unreal experience, from going so many years without winning any medals, to last year winning Canada's first, to this year having the team bring home five," said Duncan’s Company of the Blue Dragon team captain Lucas Mendes.

Last year's IMCF competition in Spain was the first year that Team Canada brought home a medal. It was Blue Dragon captain Mendes who set the tone, winning a bronze won for his fight in the Lightweight Professional Bouts.

Samantha Joulie, who lives just outside of Chemainus, was one of two women with Duncan's Company of the Blue Dragon to bring her skills to the world-wide stage. Joulie was one of the five medal winners with Team Canada who brought home silver for the female 5v5 Melee. Joulie hopes that her experience will encourage more women to embrace this sport, and join their team.

"It was the most amazing experience," she said. "Fighting with so many ladies from other countries and being able to represent my country at the international level. I originally went for women's longsword. I didn't place as well as I would have liked, but I know what to work on now for next year.

"The Canadian Alliance Melee team was made of eight women from six different counties. The team was formed two weeks before the tournament, and we all met each other for the first time the day before the tournament began. Despite this, we placed silver for the women's 5v5s. It was a dream come true, to receive our medals on behalf of my team, and I couldn't hold back my tears. It has been a dream of mine to be able to represent team Canada since I started fighting back in 2018. Being a woman in this sport is an amazing accomplishment for me, and I hope I inspire my children and girls everywhere to pursue their dreams."

Kelly Dahl of Nanaimo, who is also with Company of the Blue Dragon, brought home a bronze for his win in the Heavyweight Pro-Fight.

"Winning this bronze medal meant a lot to me," said Dahl. "I got to contribute to our team's goal of bringing home five total medals for our country. It was also a huge confidence boost. I proved to myself that I could compete on the world stage. But it also showed me just how much further I had to go in order to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. This bronze medal is going to be used as motivation for training for next year's world championships. I'm sure that everyone on the national team will be pushing hard to earn the distinction of being Canada's first world champion."

The other three Team Canada winners were Alberta fighters Warren Neilson, who took bronze for the Super Heavyweight Pro-Fight, and Wade Ames, who took silver in Pole-arms, while Genevieve Drouin of Ontario took bronze for the LightWeight Female Pro-Fight.

The 13 knights with the Company of the Blue Dragon brought with them to Mexico an antique shield that dates back to 1510 donated by Duncan's Station Street Gallery owner Linda Roseneck. The spectacular shield dubbed the the ‘Roseneck Award’ went to Team USA who had around 60 fighters and won 16 of the 23 available medals. Mendes, who already has his sights set on bringing home gold for next year's world championships which is set to be held in Houston, Texas couldn't be prouder of Team Canada's accomplishments.

"One of the biggest highlights was when Wade Ames from Alberta's Wardens of the Red Tower won the silver medal in men's Pole-arms," said Mendes. "It was the first event of the tournament and he really set the pace and morale for the rest of Canada. We were cheering more than Team USA, whose fighter won the gold. Wade has been competing in Buhurt since 2014 and this was his first international medal, after all the years of hard work and dedication, no one deserved it more than him."

"It was an absolutely incredible experience getting to represent our country at the World Championships."

About the Author: Chadd Cawson

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