Mohamed (Moe) Zawadi arrived home in Barrie earlier this week after claiming boxing gold at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., and with hopes of representing Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
That was something he can think about right after classes.
His list of accolades is lengthy: six-time provincial champion, three-time national champion, four-time Brampton Cup gold medallist, 2014 Canadian Golden Gloves gold medallist, bronze medallist at the continentals, 2016 Ontario Games gold medallist.
Now Zawadi will add his gold from the 2019 Canada Winter Games to an already full trophy case.
Zawadi earned his gold medal on Wednesday, Feb. 20 with a decision win and was victorious in his first two fights by technical knockout (TKO).
The 17-year-old was resting at his Barrie home with family when he told BarrieToday he's very happy with his win, but can’t wait to get back to training.
“I’ll start training for the nationals in British Columbia at the end of April, but I really want to represent Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games. That’s an ultimate goal,” Zawadi said. “I have school first, though, so getting a good sleep for that will be important.”
The St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School student was back in class Monday, just like many regular teenagers, but said his school, friends and family have all been so supportive of him. And for that he's very grateful.
“My school has been great with putting things on the announcements and posting good luck and results on social media and I’m so thankful for that,” Zawadi said. “Everybody has been so supportive, but my family, of course, has been great all these years. And I could never have done this without my coaches, Jack Ireland and Johnathon Martin.”
Zawadi has trained for eight years at Uptown Boxing on Dunlop Street West and has been working hard to accomplish all he has over the years.
His father, Mark, said he believes a lot of eyes should be watching his son, and it would be even better to see people step up and help amateur athletes so they can represent Canada on a bigger stage.
“Proud isn’t the word,” said proud dad Mark Zawadi. “And it isn’t just me, but all of Barrie should be proud of him and what he has accomplished.
"I know I’m his dad, but put that aside and I can’t think of an athlete in years who has done what he done," he added. "I’ve watched boxing my whole life and to see an amateur boxer do what he’s done in the last eight years is amazing.
"He really has a big future, and in order to have that big future he needs support. I really hope to see him and other athletes get more support as they take trips that aren’t cheap and miss school, but still get good grades. We should rally around them.”