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Old September 28, 2000, 10:12 AM
Dien Rice
 
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Default A strange Olympic tale....

Last week, on TV, I saw the most unusual match….

The sport was judo. Yet you’d be forgiven if you thought it was Sumo wrestling....

On one side, the Cuban. A trim, fit individual, jumping, warming himself up....

On the other side, the Ukrainian.

He looked like no other judo competitor at the Olympics. He weighed over 440 pounds (over 200 kilograms). And he had his own style.

The match was something exciting. I’d never heard of a judo wrestler of his size before. Yet here it was in front of me, at the highest level of this sport in the world.

The Cuban and the Ukrainian circled each other, looking for a good opportunity to grab the other guys lapels for a throw.

The Cuban jumped in, and seized the Ukrainian’s lapels. He tried to throw him. Well, he succeeded in throwing him to the floor, but the Ukrainian always fell on his stomach.

In Olympic judo, you have to throw the other guy on his back, not his stomach.

This scenario repeated itself. Sometimes the Ukrainian guy almost got the Cuban down, but mostly it was the other way around. The Ukrainian went down.

But always on his stomach.

By the end of the match, no-one had really thrown the other. But the Cuban won on points.

However, I thought the Ukrainian judo wrestler was fare more interesting. He was unique. He developed his own style.

It was good enough for him to make it to the Olympics.

No one could really throw him, because of his size. In judo, usually you’d think that such a great size – with a probable lack of agility – would be a handicap. But he turned it into a strength.

Although he lost on points in the match I saw, he did make it through the first round. (What I saw was the second round.) And he was an example of a good lesson.

Find your own style. Be unique.

And you could make it on to the world stage too – like he did.

Best of luck! :)

Dien
 


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