Re-printed with the permission of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald
Can't we all just get along?
By KEVIN MITCHELL
Times-Herald Sports Reporter

Nancy Jewitt-Filteau -- Moose Jaw's Olympics-bound judo heavyweight -- bought a Montreal Gazette last week.

The contents left her with an uneasy feeling. Maybe even a little fear.

"The front page was about how one of the Atlanta secutiry guards (in Atlanta) got hit by a ricocheting bullet from a sniper-type gun," Jewitt-Filteau said Tuesday from Montreal, where she's training with the national judo squad. "And somebody else ran a stop-check. Atlanta has a very high crime rate, too, but they've been doing the best they can to clean that up. Hopefully everything's under control. But it's the same thing -- you've got to be in the right time, right place. Hopefully I have none of that."

But her mind -- funny things, those brains -- won't let it go.

The Olympics garner worldwide attention, making it a prime terrorist target. At the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic Village and murdered 11 Israeli athletes.

Security has grown blanket-tight since then -- 30,000 police, military personnel and private security guards will be on duty in Atlanta -- but the threat remains.

"I'm getting nervous, because there's a lot of weird people around," Jewitt-Filteau said. "You never know what's going to happen. It's such a big international event, you always have to worry about terrorism and stuff like that. That has me worried. It's not so much the fighting aspect of the competition -- it's more the external worries. But you can't let them interfere."

"Politics rears its ugly head everywhere. How many different times have the Olympics been boycotted by different nations? It's not so much the athletes who want to boycott -- it's the governments."

Jewitt-Filteau, for example, will be there -- despite her misgivings.

"I'm going to go down there and try to be focused and not worry about it," she remarked. "It's the same old thing -- you've got to be smart. You don't go wandering around in rough-looking areas. You have to use your head. They're going to have a lot of security there, and they'll do the best they can. You can't worry about that, I guess."

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall-of-Famer would be well advised to dwell on other things -- like fulfillling her life-long Olympics dream.

"It probably won't hit me until I get down there and see everything and say 'wow!' " said Jewitt-Filteau, 34.

The local athlete, who moved to Moose Jaw last year from Saskatoon, came out of retirement a couple of years ago to pursue and Olympic spot. It was one of the few things she hadn't done during a highly successful national and international career.

She clinched the berth last month after beating Kimberly Ribble in a do-or-die fight-off.

"I was excited when i first got on the team, but I have to treat it like any other tournament," Jewitt-Filteau said. "It's exciting because it is the Olympics, but the thing is, I have to stay focused. Just because it's the Olympics doesn't mean it's going to be a major difference from fighting any other tournament. It sounds terrible when I say it that way, but these are the same people I'm fighting internationally and in the worlds. But now, we're all keyed towards fighting and trying to do our best at the Olympic level."

Jewitt-Filteau will return to Moose Jaw from Montreal this weekend. She'll spend a couple days with her family before flying to Atlanta. her event will be held Aug. 20, and she'll remain in Atlanta until the 30th.

"There's some pretty big girls there; I tend to be a little bit small compared to some of the girls," she says. "But if I fight smart and I fight hard, who knows? I could be up with the top ones."

Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald July 11, 1996

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