Victoria Vergos ‘excited’ for Canada Winter Games

Shocked and excited. That’s how 16-year-old Victoria Bergos felt when she learned that the 2023 Canadian Winter Olympics would feature women’s boxing for the first time.

The former gymnast-turned-boxer and current Ontario Golden Gloves winner is looking forward to the opportunity to make more of his mark on the national stage when competition kicks off on Tuesday at Summerside at PEI.

“It’s such an honor and I’m really excited to go,” the Hamilton native told the Canadian Press.

“I was shocked, especially at that moment, because I knew this was the first year that women were allowed to participate. rice field.”

The sport’s introduction to the Canadian Games is 11 years behind the Olympics, which was introduced at the London 2012 Games.

“Women’s boxing is still relatively new and I think it needs more recognition,” Vergos said.

But from an organizational point of view for the Canadian Games, it’s not just about choosing sports.

“Canadian sports programs are well prepared in advance of the games,” said Kelly Ann Paul, Chairman and CEO of the Canada Games Council. “A lot of it is about choosing venues and making sure the host community is aware of the sports programs they’re bidding on, as that has a lot to do with infrastructure.

“Therefore, our organization, the Canada Games Council, is responsible for the selection of sports, and is coordinating to ensure that the sports program is not only coordinated at an international level for the Olympics, but also more responsive to coordination. What is happening in Canada on a social level and what is suitable for sports programs?

Vergos is one of seven boxers in the 60 kg division and five others in the 52 kg division.

Vergos competed in gymnastics from ages 6 to 13, was active in gymnastics and aerobics, and was on Team Canada.

However, a change of heart led to her transition to boxing.

“I really like this, and I think being involved in sports also gives me a future that looks like a big one,” she said. , Mentally, it is very useful in boxing today.

“My turning point was, ‘OK, well, I’m not really into gymnastics anymore.’ It was a great experience for me and helped me a lot. It’s my passion now.

The move was welcomed by her father George, himself an amateur boxer and one of her coaches with Spencer Wilcox at the Steeltown Boxing Club.

“He was so excited when he was able to pick me up and teach me and help me box. He still does.

“I couldn’t ask for a better team. They are more than I could ask for. My coach, all the Wilcox brothers, themselves professional boxers and my father We all help because we’re actually coaching them. We all make sure we have what each other needs when it comes to boxing.”

After being delayed due to the pandemic, Vergos started competing last May and has made it to the 2022 Ontario Golden Gloves competition. Now she’s trying to do the same on the national stage, with a gold medal in her sights.

She understands the opportunities that lie ahead against champions from other states and Golden Glove winners from elsewhere.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity to compete against the best players and prove yourself and show how good you are,” Vergos said.

However, the long-term goal is to aim for an even bigger stage.

“I want to follow the Olympic path, and in time I will consider going pro,” Vergos said.

“But now my heart is really on the road to the Olympics and amateur style, being a multiple time national champion, competing as much as I can, going as far as I can, bringing home many wins and being very recognizable. It has been.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 27, 2023.

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