The hype has already started, we are T-minus 17 until the start of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This is the culmination of many years of hard work, training and competition for these athletes. We are going to talk with one of them tonight, he’s heading for London and the dream of winning, maybe even a gold in Judo at the 2012 Games. He’s in the 73 kg weight class and he is Nick Delpopolo.
Judo originated in Japan, where the sport is beyond huge. It is also popular in places like the former Soviet Union (Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan), France, Brazil, and Mongolia. Similar to wrestling, judo requires players to throw or slam opponents in a very controlled motion. Other popular moves are pinning the opponent for 25 seconds or submission through a choke or arm lock. Judo is very instinctive and every match is different.
Born in Montenegro, Nick was adopted by a family in New Jersey at the age of almost 2. Our guest has an interest in Judo at an early age. When Nick was 5 years old his father took him to Cranford Judo and Karate Center in Cranford, NJ and signed him up for Judo classes. The Dojo was run by the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Judo Coach. Nick progressed as a junior in wrestling not, Judo. He then found his way back into Judo and under the guidance of former Olympian Jimmy Pedro he rose up the world rankings. Now 23, Nick Delpopolo is currently ranked #1 in the United States and #16 in the world.
- He won a bronze medal last year at the Pan American Games.
- He won gold at the 2010 U.S. Open as well as Venezuela and El Salvador World Cup events.
- He finished 9th in the 2010 World Championships.
He’s heading to the London Games, but found some time to stop by “The Tech of Sports” on his way to London.
1. Most people have seen wrestling, but maybe not Judo, what are the differences and similarities?
2. Talk about your training and training routine
3. How technical do you get in preparing for a match. Video study..kinetics.. etc
4. What do you know about the venue where Judo will be taking place?
5. When do you find out about the draw and potential opponents?
6. How much are you looking forward to the opening ceremonies?
7. Any athletes you are maybe looking to meet from other sports or countries?
8. Tips and advice for young kids getting into Judo?
9. The one piece of modern technology you can’t live without in your professional or personal life?