The days to London are quickly boiling down. As of today the Opening Ceremonies are just 50 days away. So what does this mean for the five judokas waiting to hit the mat July 28?
It means it’s crunch time.
Athletes spend a ton of energy focusing on and preparing to even qualify for the London Summer Games. Now that it’s a reality for Marti Malloy (57kg), Kayla Harrison (78kg), Nicholas Delpopolo (73kg), Travis Stevens (81kg), and Kyle Vashkulat (100kg), they’ll have to refocus their energy towards the ultimate goal – a gold medal in London.
The good news is these athletes are familiar with international competitions, especially Kayla Harrison. In order to earn the points needed to qualify for the games, each competitor has had to take on their share of intense international competitors. While the experience is certainly an advantage, the Olympics are their own beast. With fans screaming, adrenaline running, and an unwavering motivation to succeed, the Olympics are unpredictable — and that’s what makes them so amazing.
Kayla Harrison is the most favored from the USA to medal in London. With 1500 international points (over 3 times more than most of her USA teammates), Harrison has known for awhile that her road was paved for London. When she sets foot in London, she will have just turned 22. It’ll be her first trip to the Olympics and she is the USA’s best bet for bringing home gold. If she does, it’ll be the first Olympic gold medal for USA Judo.
This year’s Olympic judo competition is shaping up to be a memorable one for the USA team. Judo Tours will be present at the games to provide recaps and highlights, and we’ll be bringing with us some of the greatest fans USA Judo has to offer. If you’re interested in joining, visit www.judotours.com for more information.
Let the games begin!
This Sunday at 10:00 AM the New York Open Judo Championship will be held at the New York Athletic club in NYC. This is the 26th year the NYAC has put on the tournament that draws some of the top athletes in the United States as well as the world. Top Americans will be Nick Delpopolo, Travis Stevens and Garry Leger. If you happen to be in NYC, go cheer them on. Here is what Nick Delopolo said on his facebook page about the tournament at the New York Athletic Club.
“Getting excited to compete in New York City this weekend! All are welcome to attend! NYAC does it up right with a live DJ, food and refreshments, live commentator, film crew and chanting crowds! If you live in the NYC area.. don’t miss it!” Sounds like a good time for a Sunday!
Can’t wait to hear how it goes and see some video.
In other pre Olympic news this week’s Sports Illustrated has an article about Kayla Harrison and her road to London and her goals coming up. Nice to see some of the smaller sports getting out there in the mainstream sports world.
Have a great Judo weekend everyone!
If you haven’t already been counting down to the 2012 Summer Games in London, it is time to start! January 27, 2012 marks 6 months until all eyes will be on London and the 2012 Summer Games Opening Ceremonies. Can you remember the Opening Ceremonies in Bejing? I’m still amazed watching it and can’t wait to see what London has in store for us. Thinking about the Opening Ceremonies, it makes to think of so many memories that are printed in my memore forever. Here are some of the highlights over past Olympic Opening Ceremonies from my perspective.
My first memory of an Opening Ceremony was 1984 in Los Angeles. I was living an hour outside of LA and knew I would be attending a few Olympic events, so this was something I had to watch on TV. LA was the year that someone flew through the stadium wearing a jet pack and who can forget every single fan sitting in the stands taking part to hold up a card to make the flags of all the participating countries. I noticed looking back at some videos that these ceremonies were during the day. 1992 took the Olympics to Seoul, South Korea and I remember seeing WELCOME written on the field by partipicants and it could be seen from the aerial shots of the stadium. 1992 took the Olympics to Barcelona, Spain. For Americans, this was exciting because it was the debut of “The Dream Team” in basketball and watching Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson walk in the parade of atheltes. This was also the first Olympics that held majority of the ceremony at night under the lights. Barcelona recreated waves and a ship on the field before the arrival of the Olympic flag and flame. 1992 was also the last year that both Winter and Summer Olympics were the same year. The Winter Olympics went ahead two years later picking back up in 1994.
1996 brought the Olympics back to to the United States in Atlanta, Georgia. These Opening Ceremonies had a great tribute to the Ancient Greek Olympics forming the Temple Of Zeus. Being an American and watching the ceremony in the USA, its always a treat to finally get to see all of the American athletes walk into the stadium last. 1996 was special because I knew athletes competing that I was in college with and remember trying to find them on TV. The highlight for sure was when the great Muhammad Ali was the last person to receive the passing flame and jog the last leg to light the Olympic torch to mark the beginning of the 1996 Olympics. The entire Olympics were special having them on US soil even down to an American Gymnast doing her floor routine to The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band. Sydney, Australia hosted the 2000 Olympics and it seemed as if the world had an extra level of excitement to be “Down Under”. I can never forget the Olympic Rings lit on the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the roar as Kathy Freeman lit the Olympic Torch and her story and what she did to unite a country through the sport and the Olympics. This was also another Olympics where I saw college friends on mine on TV walking into Olympic Stadium representing the multiple countries they were from.
2004 brought the Olympics back to where the history of the Olympics began in Athens, Greece. This ceremony had so much history representing bringing the past to the present by having the Olympic flame travel from 100 years prior into the current Olympic Stadium onto the ground ending with the lighting of the Olympic Rings for the world to see and celebrate the opening and the history of the modern day Olympics.
And the last Olympics 2008 in Beijing, China where the Opening Ceremonies were taken to another level. There aren’t even words to describe how incredible they were. From the adorable girl flying around the stadium to the perfect precision of the drummers captivating not just the fans in the stands, but the entire world for even the next four years to come.
So now we are only six months away from the spectacular show that London will put on for the world. The day will even begin at 8:00 AM when the city of London will be put on hold to ring bells. I can’t imagine what it will sound like, but couldn’t be more excited to be there to hear it and be a part of it. Six months to go for another night that the entire world will come together to celebrate this amazing thing called the Olympics!
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