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Shelley Vettese-Baert

Taekwondo Athlete- Inducted 2024

Shelley Vettese-Baert has dedicated four decades to Taekwondo, starting her journey at the age of 25, which is considered late in the sport. Initially, Taekwondo served as a non-competitive activity for fitness and enjoyment, a departure from her earlier collegiate sports of field hockey and swimming. However, Shelley’s passion for challenges and sports led her to excel in Taekwondo, having reached the highest levels in both areas (sparring and Poomsae).

Retiring from sparring in 1999, Shelley continues to compete in Poomsae today, the pattern side of Taekwondo. Beyond her competitive endeavors, she has contributed significantly to her sport. Shelley has coached national Taekwondo athletes, served on provincial committees, and conducted numerous workshops and classes for Taekwondo conferences.

Throughout her incredible career, Shelley has achieved remarkable feats, including winning Bronze at the World Cup in Spain in 1990 and silver at the World Cup in Yugoslavia in 1991. Her achievements also include a Bronze at the Olympic Games in Spain in 1992 and Gold at prestigious events like the Moscow Open, the U.S Open, and the Canadian National Championships. Notably, she won a Bronze at the 1st Pan Am Poomsae Championship in Mexico in 2010 and gold at the Canadian National Poomsae Championships in 2011.

With a 6th Degree Black Belt from Tiger Taekwondo, where she has been a member for nearly four decades, Shelley has remained dedicated to her sport despite a full-time career in academics. She balanced family life, teaching, and maintaining her fitness while becoming the first Canadian medalist at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Russia in 2011 and repeating her success in 2013 in Indonesia.

Shelley’s contributions have earned her a place in the Canadian Taekwondo Hall of Fame. She also holds the distinction of being the first Taekwondo athlete inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, marking a historic achievement. Furthermore, she is the first female Taekwondo athlete to receive this honour, further highlighting her groundbreaking contribution to the sport.