The return of the newly crowned champion: New featherweight EBI champion Jon Calestine came back today to see his old at squad headquarters RGA. He told us all the remarkable story of his victory. The whole adventure began on very short notice as his senpai Eddie Cummings had to pull out at the last minute due to an extremely severe flu. Mr Calestine has only resumed training recently after a severe shoulder last year and was quite clearly the smallest and lightest competitor in the field. He spent the week in LA alone and was then told to be ready to compete just two days prior to the event. His friend and mentor Matthew Kaplan had to fly out at the last minute or he would have had to compete without even a cornerman! Despite all the and far from ideal preparation, he stepped up to the plate and delivered a near flawless performance in the true tradition of the squad – gold medal performance with blitzkrieg lock attacks to win the matches, the belt, the crowd and the shekels! It was so great seeing him return today and getting an ovation from the more than eighty athletes at the big RGA Monday afternoon class that produced so many squad members and sit next to other squad EBI champions and swap stories of success. Hats to this talented young athlete who trained so hard, got the opportunity and ran with it! Here, “JC” proudly shows his EBI belt off to the entire class after a tough session. It was an inspiration to everyone in the room to be around that kind underdog success story and of course, wonderful to see a friend and team mate back in the basement telling us the whole tale and laughing about old times and talking technique. For all of you, my dear readers, you could not hope for a better example as you push towards your own goals and dreams, of a young man who trained with purpose and passion until when fate offered a chance – he had the skills and confidence to step up and shine!