WTCA Student Wins at 2023 US Challenge
Category : News
Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy student, Benedetta Bonacci, has tied for equal first place in the Yang Senior Group Female section of the 2023 US Challenge, hosted by the United States Wushu Academy (USWA) in Lanham, Maryland.
Benedetta presented the Beijing 24 Forms (also known as Yang 24 Forms or Yang Short Form) and received an overall score of 8.76, which was the top score received by another competitor in the same group. Her score also qualifies her to join the USA Wushu Kungfu Federation’s (USAWKF) team and potentially compete at the International Wushu Federation’s (IWUF) World Kungfu Championships to be held in Emeishan, Sichuan, China in 2025.
“This is an outstanding result for Benedetta and I’m sure I speak for everyone associated with Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy when I say we’re all very proud of her achievement,” said Founder and Head Instructor, Ray Gates. “This was her first attempt at competition level Tai Chi and she worked very hard to get this result. She deserves this result.”
Having been a State and National Tai Chi competition winner in Australia in past years, Ray hopes this student’s success will inspire others to try competition. “It really encourages you to develop your Tai Chi to a higher standard, and it’s just great fun,” he said. “I would love to see more of my students get involved, and it would be great to one day have Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy represented in a team event at competition. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll have some of our students performing Tai Chi at the Olympics.”
The IWUF continues to promote wushu for inclusion as an Olympic sport, and has successfully petitioned for the inclusion of wushu in the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal. They see this as a pivotal step in seeing wushu included in the modern Olympic Games.
Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy congratulates all competitors at the US Challenge and looks forward to future competitions.