Nancy Jewitt-Filteau is heading to the Olympic Games - but she'd better dry her eyes first.
Judo is best performed by those with clear vision.
"I was crying and blubbering," Jewitt-Filteau said Sunday from Montreal, while discussing the teary moments after discovering that a lifetime of hard work and hard knocks had paid off.
The Moose Jaw resident beat Kimberly Ribble 2 - 1 in their best of three heavyweight fight-off. The victory gave Jewitt-Filteau, 34, a berth at the Olympics.
Ribble, who threw Jewitt-Filteau at the recent national championships, will have to stay home.
"It's nice to have that part over," Jewitt-Filteau said. "Now I can start focusing toward the Olympics. That's what it is all about, eh?
The local athlete was a force on the provincial, national and international judo scene for years before retiring in 1988. She returned for one reason - to shoot for an Olympic berth. It was on of the few things that Jewitt-Filteau hadn't done in her star-spangled career.
The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame inductee will board a flight for Italy tonight, where she'll take part in a two-week training camp. She'll return to Moose Jaw for a weekend, head east for another week, back to Moose Jaw for a week, then back east for two weeks.
It'll mean little quality time with husband Ron and children Tyler (seven) and Justin (three).
"I think the kids are going to miss me and my husband's going to miss me, but they all understand," Jewitt-Filteau said. "It's a dream come true - one of those ultimate-type things."
The Atlanta Olympics are slated to run July 19 to Aug. 4.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald June 3, 1996