York students and alumna shine at the Pan Am Games

York University student Shannon Condie triumphed early at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, landing a silver medal in taekwondo on the third day of the Games, which ended Sunday. Another top athlete from York, Ohenawa Akuffo, competed in wrestling, bringing home a silver medal, while alumna Kateri Vrakking took her archery skills to the Games, placing 11th.

Condie, who is enrolled in a double major in kinesiology and English program at York, won the top medal in the featherweight (57 kg) category, building on her success as four-time Canadian senior champion (2004-2007). Career highlights for the 19-year-old student, whose goal is to become a teacher and a high-performance coach for Canada, include gold medals from the 2006 Commonwealth Taekwondo Championship and 2006 International Women’s Goodwill Olympic Tournament.

Right: Shannon Condie

Wrestler Ohenewa Akuffo, who has been taking business classes part time in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, competed in the women’s freestyle (72 kg) wrestling competition on Thursday morning. Akuffo lost the gold medal round to American opponent Kristie Marano. The 28-year-old settled for a silver medal and is now fixing her sights on the world championships in September in Azerbijan, where she needs a top-eight finish to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Akuffo, who was profiled in the October 2006 issue of YorkU magazine, is the 2007 senior Canadian champion, an honour she has won five times in the past decade.

Left: Ohenawa Akuffo

Kateri Vrakking, who graduated from York with a BEd in 2002, finished 11th in archery last week. She was silver medalist at the 2006 Canadian championships.

There were 470 Canadian athletes competing at the Pan Am Games, which the Canadian Olympic Committee is using as an opportunity to prepare for the 2008 Olympics.