This past August from the 2nd to the 5th London, Ontario played host to the 2018 Ontario Summer Games. Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary school was proudly represented by two grade 12 students, Matthew Di Vittorio and Cristian Nuccitelli who both competed in road cycling events at the Games.
The Ontario Summer Games is a part of the Ontario Government's Sport Plan, which encourages as many people as possible to play organized sports, helping Ontario's high-performance athletes pursue excellence while promoting increased tourism and economic development. Provincial level athletes from ages 12 to 18 qualify through a regional selection process conducted by the Provincial Sport Organizations. The Games take place every two years and are awarded through a bidding process. They are supported by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport in collaboration with host communities.
For many young athletes, the Ontario Summer Games is the highpoint of their sporting career, while for others the Games are a stepping stone for the Pan Am Games or even the Olympics.
For Matthew and Cristian the road cycling events kicked off with a sprint challenge in the morning followed by a points criterium in the afternoon. The sprint challenge was grueling 600 meter push from start to finish while the points criterium is an event with a set number of laps with sprints every 10 laps.
“I didn’t have the legs to sprint that day, so I had to race smart. I decided sit in on the first two sprints and focus my energy on the criterium,” Di Vittorio explained. It turned out to be a wise decision, as he was able to capture Gold in the U-18 division for that competition. Nuccitelli who is newer to the sport also had a very strong top ten finish.
“It was an amazing experience to medal in the competition,” added Di Vittorio “I am hoping to finish off this racing season strong and start looking at potential scholarship options both in the US and Canada.”
Di Vittorio feels very strongly about the importance of being physically active and encourages those who are interested in cycling to give it a try. In addition to cycling he plays an important role as a member of the OPHEA certified Cardinal Newman Healthy Active Living Team (HALT), that helps raise awareness around healthy living and mental wellness.
Mr. A. Falconio