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By Patrick Lujan
Two of Guam’s top promising stateside jiu-jitsu practitioners made Guam proud once again, striking gold in the 2014 Pan-American Championship Sunday at Cal State Dominguez Hills, California.
Eight-year-old Kai McDermott and 11-year-old Kaetlyn-Rae Quintanilla both submitted their opponents via armbar on their way to Pan Am gold!
McDermott took the top spot in the medium-heavy (78-lb.) division while Quintanilla captured the super-heavy (130-lb.) division for females.
“Kai was really happy and excited,” said his mother Tricia McDermott. “He also celebrated but after his matches, checked on his opponent and even walked them to their coaches.”
“One of the parents said to me, ‘Your son is a true champ. Even though he won, Kai showed a warm gesture and checked on his opponents and escorted them to their coaches.'”
The podium is where Kai is most familiar post tournaments. He’s won multiple medals throughout his very young career to include: 3-time kids Worlds Championships, SJJF World Championship, Copa Championship, Dream Jiujitsu Cchampionship, Pan Am Championship,2-time silver Pan Ams Championships.
“I learned he isn’t a champ because of his gold medal,” Tricia McDermott said. “After all his matches he checked his opponents to make sure they are okay and even walked them to their coaches. That to me is a champ not the gold medal.”
“I want to say ‘thanks’ to all my coaches, Conde Koma Academy , all my friends, and family and everyone on Guam for their support and my uncle Jon Tuck who drove from Arizona to watch me. Special thanks to my dad (Justin), mom, and sister (Kali Sirena).”
Jiu-Jitsu super star Michael Carbullido came to support the kids after winning in the Brown Belt Absolute K.O. Finisher.
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