According to the Canadian Olympic Committee in a press release on Thursday, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Karine Sergerie announced her retirement from taekwondo. A native of Sainte-Catherine, Quebec, Sergerie won the silver medal in the women's 67 kilogram division at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
At 29 years of age, Sergerie retires as the best Canadian female athlete to ever participate in taekwondo on the international stage. Sergerie was also the first Canadian woman to win a world championship in taekwondo when she won a gold medal at the 2007 World Taekwondo Championships in Beijing. Competing in the leightweight division, for athletes weighing between 60-63 kilograms, Sergerie beat Hye-Mi Park of South Korea in the gold medal final.
A year later at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Sergerie was at a disadvantage because the 63 kilogram weight class she won her gold medal at the World Championship a year before was not available at the Olympic Games. Competing in a heavier weight class at 67 kilograms, Sergerie once again advanced to the final, and once again faced a South Korean, this time Kyung-Seon Hwang, but lost 2-1 in the gold medal match.
Sergerie advanced to the Olympic final after victories over Tina Morgan of Australia, Vanina Sanchez of Argentina and Asuncion Ocasio of Puerto Rico. Gwladys Epangue of France and Sandra Saric of Croatia each won the Olympic bronze medal.
Sergerie is one of two Canadian Olympians to medal in taekwondo since it became a full Olympic sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. During the first year taekwondo was a full medal sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Dominique Bosshart of Landmark, Manitoba in the women's 67 kilogram weight class.
There were two other Canadian Olympic taekwondo athletes who retired on Thursday. Francois Coulombe-Fortier of Quebec City, Quebec and Sebastien Michaud of Joliette, Quebec also announced their retirement from competitive taekwondo.