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Valerie Gotay

Judo

Picture
Weight Category: 57kg
Current Residence: Harlingen, Texas
Judo Rank: Yodan (4th degree black belt)
Club: USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen
Coach: Israel Hernandez
Education: Completed junior year at San Diego State University
Honors:
  • Ippon Trophy for outstanding female athlete at the 2005 Pan American Judo Union Championships
  • Outstanding Female Competitor Award at the 2007 Pan American Judo Union Championships
  • Outstanding Female Competitor Award at the 2008 Pan American Judo Championships

Olympic Teams: 2008, 1992
World Championship Teams: 2007, 2005 (Ninth), 1991, 1990 (Junior)
Pan Am Games Teams: 2007 (Silver), 1991 (Silver)
Pan Am Championships Teams: 2008 (Gold), 2007 (Gold), 2006 (Bronze), 2005 (Gold), 1990 (Silver), 1988 (Silver)

Personal: Valerie began competing at the international level by the age of 14 and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1992 at the age of 18. After the Barcelona Games she retired from competition to pursue a degree in psychology at San Diego State University. In 1996 Valerie got married and gave birth to her first of two children.

Valerie decided to return to competition in 2004 and finished second at the Olympic Trials in San Diego, Calif. Within a year of her return to the sport she had taken over the top spot in the 57kg division. At 34-years-old, Valerie is more than 10 years older than her U.S. Women's Teammates, but was ranked as one of the top six 57kg players in the world in 2007.  

Recent Career Highlights:

2008:

  • Gold - 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo 
  • Gold - Pan American Championships
  • Fifth - Budapest World Cup

2007:

  • Gold - U.S. Open
  • Gold - Pan American Championships
  • Gold - USA Judo Senior National Championships
  • Gold - British Open
  • Gold - Belgian Ladies' Open
  • Silver - Pan American Games
  • Bronze - Golden Judoguis Championships
  • Bronze - Rotterdam Super World Cup
  • Seventh - Vienna World Cup

2006:

  • Gold - USA Judo Senior National Championships
  • Gold - Finnish Open
  • Gold - U.S. Open
  • Gold - Rendez-Vous Canada
  • Fifth - Swedish Open
  • Fifth - Belgian Open
  • Ninth - Paris Open

2005:

  • Gold - USA Judo Senior National Championships
  • Gold - Pan American Championships
  • Gold - U.S. Open
  • Bronze - British Open
  • Bronze - Rendez Vous Canada
  • Bornze - Pacific Rim Championships
  • Fifth - Sofia World Cup
  • Ninth - World Championships

2004:

  • Gold - Benito Juarez Championships
  • Gold - Fall Classic Nationals
  • Silver - British Open
  • Silver - Olympic Trials
  • Silver - Korea Open
  • Silver - Rendez Vous Canada
  • Bronze - USA Judo Senior National Championships

1996:

  • Bronze - U.S. Olympic Trials (61kg)

1992:

  • Bronze - Dutch Open (52kg)

1991:

  • Silver - Pan American Games (48kg)

1990:

  • Gold - ASKO World Tournament Leonding (48kg)
  • Gold - USA Judo Senior National Championships (48kg)
  • Gold - U.S. Open (48kg)
  • Silver - Pan American Championships (48kg)
  • Bronze - Paris Open (48kg)

1989:

  • Gold - USA Judo Senior National Championships (48kg)
  • Gold - U.S. Open (48kg)

1988:

  • Silver - Pan American Championships (45kg)