Kingston’s Natalie Vecchio is a two-time Canada Summer Games silver medallist after the 19-year-old took home second place honours in the women’s individual 69 kg wrestling event on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in the Niagara region. The result marked Vecchio’s second silver medal of the games, after she helped lead Ontario to a second-place finish in the women’s team competition on Tuesday.
Vecchio’s individual competition began with the Holy Cross grad picking up a 5-0 victory by fall against New Brunswick’s Vivian Mei Kutnowski in the semi-finals, securing herself a spot in the gold medal match. In Thursday’s final, Vecchio would pick up a single point against PEI’s Vanessa Keefe, before falling to the Islander 4-1 in a technical superiority loss.
Vecchio’s silver medal finish on Thursday contributed to a successful day for Team Ontario in the wrestling competition at the Games, with athletes from the province securing 17 medals throughout the day, including eight gold.
Earlier in the week, Vecchio helped Ontario secure a silver medal finish in the women’s team event. Throughout all five preliminary round duels, Vecchio and her Ontario teammates finished with a record of 5-0, securing them a spot in the gold medal round. In the finals, the Kingstonian would deliver a 5-0 victory in her individual match before Ontario fell to Team BC by a final score of 27-22, across 11 bouts.
Following Vecchio’s two silver medal victories, Kingstonians took to social media to congratulate the athlete on her performance in Niagara. “Great pin, Natalie! You and your teammates represented Ontario so well at the Canada Games. Congratulations!” said Teri Daniel, Vecchio’s former principal at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Kingston.
Niagara 2022 marks Vecchio’s first ever appearance at the Canada Summer Games, however, the Kingston Wrestling Club member is no stranger to the national stage. Earlier this year, Vecchio finished second in her division at the Canada Team Trials in Edmonton, helping Ontario secure the junior women’s provincial team award. In 2020, the Kingstonian finished in third place at the Ontario provincial championships, following a gold medal result at the event a year prior.
As of Friday morning, Ontario sits atop the team standings at Niagara 2022, with 77 total medals to their name, with Vecchio and her wrestling teammates accounting for a number of those results.