2019 Pan American Shuai Jiao Cup and Li Wing Kay Chinese Cultural Festival
This last October, I (Nick) traveled to Araraquara, Brazil (a few hours outside of Sao Paulo) to participate in the 2019 Pan American Shuai Jiao Cup. The last time I was in Brazil it was as a competitor. This time, I joined the leadership team in the role of Head Coach for Team USA.
Although the team was down 3 athletes due to pre-competition injuries, the 4 competitors still took home 2 gold and 2 silver medals and the team placed 3rd overall. And one of the Team USA competitors, Brandon Smith, also took home a "best fighter" of the tournament award.
It was an impressive event (the Shuaijiao competition was just one part of a weekend-long tournament and festival of Chinese Culture with nearly a dozen South & Central American countries represented. These events are some of the few chances we get to interact with our international counterparts - the friends I've made and competed against over the last nearly 20 years. It's amazing to see everyone still involved - whether it's teaching, coaching, or still competing. I look forward to seeing everyone again next year!