Photo by Leigh Macarie
Photo by Leigh Macarie

Josipa Kafadar


Josipa Kafadar qualified to make her Olympic debut when she finished in the top two of the women’s 49kg event at the Pan American Qualification Tournament for Paris 2024. She had previously been Team Canada’s Olympic alternate in the weight class for Tokyo 2020.

Kafadar made her international debut at the 2015 Canada Open in Montreal. She won the 51kg event in the cadet category, a gold medal that made her realize that her dream of being an Olympian was a possibility. She competed at her first WTF World Junior Championships in 2016. Two years later, Kafadar won 49kg silver at the 2018 WTF World Junior Championships. She debuted at the senior world championships in 2019.

Since becoming a senior athlete, Kafadar has competed in two Grand Prix events, reserved for the top-32 athletes in each weight class. In 2023 she won gold medals at the Luxembourg and British Opens, as well as a silver medal at the Canada Open. In 2024, she captured bronze medals at the Canada and US Opens, as well as the World Taekwondo Presidents Cup for Pan America.

A Little More About Josipa

Getting into the Sport: Started practicing taekwondo at age 4 and began competing a year later… As a child in taekwondo, she loved the challenge of proving people wrong when they said she couldn’t do something… Outside Interests: Enjoys photography, baking, crafting, hiking… Pursuing an undergraduate degree in biological physics at Simon Fraser University… Odds and Ends: Always carries in her pocket a medallion gifted by her grandmother as a reminder to have faith and that her family will always support her… Inspired by Olympic silver medallist Karine Sergerie for her success in the sport and her advocacy for athletes’ mental health; also looks up to fellow British Columbian and taekwondo Olympian Ivett Gonda, who competed in the 49kg event… Her parents immigrated to Canada as refugees during the Yugoslav wars in the mid-1990s… Favourite quote: “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose.” – Psalm 20:4…

Notable International Results

World Taekwondo Championships: 2019 – Rd of 32 (49kg)

World Taekwondo Junior Championships: 2018 – SILVER (49kg); 2016 – QFs (52kg)

Junior Pan American Games: 2021 – QFs (49kg)