Nanaimo’s Jimmy Lapointe made history for his Island Top Team club with a gold-medal victory at the Pan-Ams.
Lapointe, a purple belt, won his middleweight division March 14 at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Irvine, Calif.
To get gold, the Nanaimo competitor needed to win four matches in one day, three of which came down to the last 30 seconds.
“[They] were incredibly tough and unbelievably close,” said Robert Biernacki, instructor with Island Top Team, in a press release, calling the feat a “technical, tenacious and gutsy performance.”
Lapointe is the first athlete from the club to win gold at the Pan-Ams, and probably the first athlete from Vancouver Island to do so, said Biernacki.
“[It’s] the most prestigious tournament our team has ever secured a gold medal at, and a monumental achievement for the Vancouver Island Brazilian jiu-jitsu community.”
Lapointe tied his participation at the Pan-Ams to his I Love Dads fundraising initiative for Nanaimo’s Men’s Centre. For more information, please click here.