At age 10, Katejun Coonishish is only two years older than his home community ofOuje-Bougoumou. Already he’s a three-year veteran and “flying like a bird” in the roughand tumble world of motocross racing.
Racing is in Katejun’s blood. Both of his parents, Sydney and Sarah, raced snowmobiles.His career began not long after he witnessed his first minicross race at Montreal’sOlympic Stadium. After that race he told his dad, “If you let me race, I’ll beat those kids. ”
Two years later he was the rookie of the year and champion in his 50cc class. He’s wontwo consecutive provincial championships and last summer he placed fourth overall in theCanadian Nationals in Walton, Ontario.
Motocross is not for the timid. Katejun performs jumps that can be more than 70 feet longand go as high as 12 feet high. He has misjudged a jump or two and taken a “stretcherride” only to ride again the same day with a sore hip.
Katejun has also appeared before huge crowds at racetracks in the United States. Amongthem Massachussets, Florida and New York where he finished second. As of this writingKatejun is headed for Syracuse, New York, for some rare practice runs and to qualify inthe district. In August he plans on competing in the Loretta Lynn (yes, the Coal Miner’sDaughter herself!) Grand National, one of the biggest amateur motocross events in the world.
His collection of more than 50 trophies has grown so big and so fast his dad jokes they are “dust collectors. ”
The must-read journal of the sporting world, Sports Illustrated, has noticed and gave amention to the kid competitors now call “Ragin’Katejun.”
Most treasured possession:
Kiwi, because my head is fuzzy.
Words you love to hear: I love you.
How you would like to be remembered:
“You’re so handsome.”
Who’s shoes would you want to walk a mile in?
Person you would like to see as grand chief: Abel Bosum.
Last book read: Archie comics.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to continue to race. Longest jump: 75 feet.
Last movie seen: Terra Firma 4 Favorite music: Rock ‘n’ roll Favorite TV show: The Simpsons Magazines read: My dad’s motorcycle magazines (Motocross Journal).
Person you love the most:
My mom and dad.
Person you hate the most: (long pause)…I love everybody.
Cree of the year: I have no idea.
Favorite time of year:
Christmas. I get a lot of gifts. First job: Counting cards at band office.
Pet Peeve: People calling me names like “nerd” and “ketchup.”
Birthplace: Somewhere near Lac Doré. Vices: Messing up the house.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Kenny Gunner, Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael.
Favorite food: Carrots
If you could meet Jim Carrey what would
you say: “Are you a nerd?”
Favorite travel destination: Florida. It’s hot there. I can wear shorts and go swimming.
Where would you like to live? Massachusetts, there’s a lot of racing there. Talent you would like to have: Playing hockey.
Casse Croûte in Chibougamau. Title of your autobiography: Katejun’s motocross racing.Greatest fear: A big jump.
But I usually try it and I do it.