Judo was the first martial art to become an Olympic medal sport. Men first competed in Tokyo in 1964. Women's competition first appeared in Seoul in 1988.
Judo competition in London begins on July 28th
DOB: July, 2nd, 1990
Residence: Wakefield, MA
World champion 2010; bronze medalist 2011. A two-time US champion before she turned 18. Junior world champion in 2008; only the third US judoka ever to claim that title. 1st - Pan American Judo Championships, 2011. 1st - USA and Sao Paulo World Cups, 2010. In 2008, moved up from 63kg to 78kg. Her 2010 World Championships’ title made Kayla the first US woman to win a global senior title in 26 years, having gone undefeated in her five matches. Her gold medal was the first for an American since her coach, Jimmy Pedro, won the world title in 1999. It was the first for an American woman since 1984. Intends to become EMT certified and would like to become a firefighter.
DOB: February, 28th, 1986
Residence: Glenville, NY
Ninth at the 2008 Olympic Games. At age six, signed up for judo lessons by accident. Had intended to sign up for karate after watching the movie, The Karate Kid. In 2010, became the third US man ever to win a medal at the Paris Grand Slam. 5th World Masters’ Championships, 2011. After his career in judo, intends to get an MBA and support other judokas on their journeys to the Olympic Games.
DOB: February, 8th, 1989
Residence: Amsterdam, New York
Born in Montenegro, originally named Petra Perovic. Spent first two years of his life in an orphanage in Niksic. The building was disheveled with deteriorating walls, and floors made of dirt. Food was in short supply. Dominic and Joyce Delpopolo, from Westfield, NJ, adopted Nick at 21 months old. They returned to Montenegro several years later and adopted a second child, Helen. At age five, Dominic took Nick to a judo center in New Jersey. He became a two-time Kids’ State champion. In 2009, Nick re-visited the orphanage. He received his birth mother’s information and found the identity of his birth father, who he saw but with whom he did not speak. In the future, he plans to send both of his birth-parents a letter with newspaper articles and photos so that they will know what became of their son. A top class high school wrestler until that career was ended by a knee injury. Coached by 1992 Olympic silver medalist, Jason Morris.
DOB: July 24th, 1990
Residence: Cifton Park, NY
Born in Kiev, Ukraine. First name is actually Kirill. Moved to the US when he was nine years old. 2nd - New York Open Team Championships, 2012.
2nd - national championships, 2011. 3rd - Pan American Championships, 2011. 1st - national championships, 2010.