Saanich karate kid, Anika Ocean Elliott, nabbed three medals at the 2020 BC Winter Games. The 13-year-old represented Vancouver Island at the province-wide competition in Fort St. John.
In December, she won the Female Advanced Kumite – or sparring – division at the 2019 Vancouver Island Qualification Tournament in Nanaimo earning a place at the Games Feb. 20 to 23.
This was Elliott’s first and only time competing at the Games. The tournament is held every two years and athletes must be 12 or 13 to compete meaning they can only attend once, she explained.
Elliott competed in three events which took place on the last two days of the Games. She was nervous about her fights as some competitors had a reputation of being very skilled but Elliott loves the adrenaline and it turned out she had nothing to worry about.
In the Advanced Girls Kumite and Advanced Girls Open Weight Kumite divisions, Elliot nabbed two bronze medals. She and two athletes from Nanaimo also formed the Zone 6 – Vancouver Island – team to compete in the Girls Team Kumite division. Elliott scored the winning kick and secured the gold medal.
After the fights, athletes sat in the audience and were called up to collect their medals. Elliott was surprised about her wins because she said the rankings weren’t clear beforehand.
Elliott has been doing karate for five years and currently trains two hours a week with Varsity Performance Karate in Cadboro Bay led by head coach Kraig Devlin.
She got into karate after her father, Aaron, decided to get back into the sport. He’d done it as a kid and wanted to take it up again so Elliott decided to give it a try too. The pair spar frequently and, unlike most kids, Elliott gets to kick, punch and knock her dad to the ground.
With three more medals under her belt, Elliott has set her sights on several upcoming local tournaments and hopes to one day qualify for the Olympics.