A Penticton karate star helped make B.C. history at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
Ciara Browne, 16, won a bronze medal for Team BC on Feb. 22, in the province’s debut at the games for karate.
Browne ousted athletes from Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, before capturing one of B.C.’s 10 medals in the sport.
“She fought with such a presence and was so confident,” said Ashtin Callaghan, Browne’s coach and Team BC’s manager at the games. “Everyone on Team BC rose to the challenge and made us proud, including Ciara.”
Browne’s performance last week helped put B.C.-based karate on the map, Callaghan added.
“To be able to send a karate team there is super historic for the province, and for all of Canada,” the Kelowna-based coach said. “For Ciara, the hard work she put in was just so amazing…I want to thank her for being an inspiration for our academy and all the other kids in B.C.”
Browne won handily in her four preliminary-round matches, before advancing to the semifinals against Alberta’s Donya Movaffagh, the eventual gold medalist.
The Penticton athlete defeated her opponents by a combined margin of 18-2, according to the judges’ scorecards.
Karate was in the spotlight at the Canada Winter Games, with Vancouver’s Oonah Gamboa carrying the B.C. flag during the event’s opening ceremony.
This year’s edition of the games marked the debut of karate.
According to Team BC, many of its current karate stars have their eyes set on representing Canada at the Pan-American Games.
Although it won’t be featured at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, there has been a recent push for karate to be included in the 2028 games in Los Angeles.