Biography:

Kelita Zupancic made her Olympic debut at London 2012 where she ran into three-time world champion and eventual gold medallist Lucie Décosse of France in the second round. Zupancic has also competed at two Pan American Games, winning gold in front of the home crowd at Toronto 2015. In her five appearances at the IJF World Championships, she recorded a career-high finish of seventh in 2014. She has stood on the podium in numerous international events, including eight straight times at the Pan American Championships, dating back to 2009. Zupancic earned her first World Cup victory in October 2010 in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was also in Baku where she earned her first Grand Slam victory in May 2013. Zupancic’s first national title came in 2005 when she competed in the U-17 division. She added the U-20 national title a year a later before capturing both the U-20 and senior national titles in 2007.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Edward and Annette Zupancic… Younger brothers Anton, Ryan, and Andrew were all drafted to play in the Ontario Hockey League… Getting into the Sport: Started in judo at age 5, introduced to the sport by her father, a fifth-dan black belt… Outside Interests: Enjoys fashion, movies, reading… Odds and Ends: Nickname: Zupi… Used to play hockey on a boys’ AAA team… Spent one of the toughest years of her life training in Japan with Komatsu, the top women’s company team… Collects Christmas ornaments during her travels… Rio Olympic motto is #SWEATINGGOLD as a reminder of the daily grind and dream of winning the gold medal…