July 1, 2014 7:03 pm

Local judo instructor defying the odds


He’s a teacher at Chinook high school, and an instructor at the Lethbridge judo club. Guy Pomahac is a man who is deeply involved in the community, but he is now facing some very serious adversity. In 2010 Pomahac was diagnosed with cancerand he is now fighting for his life.

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Up until a few months ago, Pomahac was a science teacher at Chinook High School. But watching him compete against his opponents, sending them flying at the Lethbridge Judo Club,  you would hardly know there’s anything wrong. Pomahac has been fighting for his life for the past four years. “I had colon cancer to start with and it spread now so, it’s still in the abdominal area. Makes it tough to do judo.”

Tough, but not impossible, at least not for Pomahac. He has continued training and teaching at the Lethbridge Judo Club all while battling cancer since he was diagnosed in 2010.  It’s been a trying four years for Pomahac however. Thinking he had the terrible disease beaten three times, only to have it come back. Most recently in February after competing in a judo tournament in Vancouver.

“Came back, my leg had swelled up to nine centimeters bigger then my other leg. Next thing you know, they find out from some tests that the tumor is there.”

But throughout everything, there’s been one constant, his presence at the judo club. Pomahac’s been around the sport for 45 years and has been doing it at an elite level. He’s been to more than ten world championships and was an alternate for the Canadian Olympic Judo Team.  But believe it or not, he’s not finished yet. Pomahac plans to compete in the upcoming Masters Judo Championships in Spain.

“To me it’s not an unrealistic goal. I know I’m going to put that out there, that’s my carrot. That’s what I want to do. I want to accomplish that and when I’m finished, I’m finished.”

As Pomahac trains for yet another world championship, he knows this time he’s fighting for something far greater then a title.

“Really in the back of my mind I want my kids to realize that no matter what, if you set a goal and set your mind to something you can accomplish it.”

His final battle is with cancer and to Pomahac, it’s just another fight on the mats.

“To me it’s just another judo match, and this one, I’m going to win it again. That’s all I can say about that.”

Pomahac resumed chemotherapy treatment on Monday but still has hopes of competing in November.

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