A Winnipeg teen recently returned from a trip to California, and he’s brought back some of the San Diego sunshine with him in the form of a gold medal at a prestigious Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament.
Logan MacDonald, 14, finished on the top of the podium at the 2020 PAN Kids championship. He told 680 CJOB’s Sports Show that the victory is the realization of a dream he’s had since he was just a toddler.
“I started training jiu-jitsu when I was four years old,” he said.
“I started in my basement with my dad… He’s been doing martial arts for 20 years, so he started training me. Then a couple of my friends started training along with him and me… but then too many people started to join, so now we’re in a space and have over 70 students.”
MacDonald said he had to defeat opponents from Japan, the U.S. and Brazil to win the championship in what his mom Marcia said is one of the best jiu-jitsu tournaments in the world for athletes Logan’s age.
“He was competing at the highest level a kid can get to at this point, being a green belt and 14 years old,” she said.
Marcia said the sport has become a full-family affair for the MacDonald clan.
“It’s like any sport, you just get addicted to it. It’s so fun, it’s so challenging, and when you’re on the mats, you can’t really think about other things.”
“We do it as a family, now we have a bunch of friends that do it, and all of the people we teach have become sort of our other family,” she said.
The teen champ still has other mountains to climb in pursuit of jiu-jitsu greatness – this was Logan’s last year competing in the kids’ tournament before he enters the higher age and weight divisions.
There’s still one victory, however, he’s training for: beating his dad one day.
“I think I’ll be able to do it within the next year or two.”