The first judo player from Hawaii to compete at the Olympic Games, Asano won a silver medal in the 60kg division at the 1988 Olympic Games following his bronze at the 1987 World Championships. A graduate of San Jose State University, Asano has remained involved in the sport as the president of Hawaii Judo and President of USA Judo Federation.
The first U.S. judo player ever to advance to the finals of the Olympic Games, Berland won a silver medal in the 86kg division in 1984 after winning bronze at the 1983 World Championships. A two-time Olympian who also competed in 1988, Berland currently worked with the Chicago 2016 committee to help bring the Olympic Games to his hometown of Chicago and was also part a member of the coaching staff for the 2000 Olympic Judo Team.
Jim Bregman was the first American to win a a medal (Bronze) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The following year, 1965, he became the first American to win a medal (Bronze) at the Sao Paulo, Brazil, World Championships. In addition, he was a 1965 Pan American Gold Medalist and, in that same year, won a Gold Medal in his weight class and became the Overall Champion of the Maccabean Games held in Israel. Mr. Bregman was a Founding Director of the United States Judo Association; He served three terms as its President. Mr. Bregman is also a member of the Jewish Athletes, New York Athletic Club, and the Wakefield High School Hall's of Fame.
An 11-time National Champion, Castro-Gomez had won three World medals by the time she competed on her first Olympic Team in 1988. As a member of the first U.S. women’s team to compete at the Olympic Games when women’s judo was introduced as a demonstration event, Castro-Gomez won a bronze medal in the +72kg division.
Coage became the second U.S. athlete, and the first African-American, to win an Olympic medal in the sport of judo when he earned a bronze in the +95kg division at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. A six-time National Champion and two-time Pan American Games Champion, Coage later became a World Wrestling Federation celebrity in the late 1980s as “Bad News Brown.” Coage passed away in 2007.
Liddie won a bronze medal in the 60kg division during his 1984 Olympic appearance and would go on to coach four Olympic Teams from 1996 to 2008. As the coach for the Olympic Training Center judo team in Colorado Springs, Liddie’s athletes secured 13 Olympic slots during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games. Liddie is currently the USA Judo Director of High Performance.
One of only four U.S. judo players to compete on four Olympic Teams, Morris won a silver medal in the 78kg division during his second Olympic Games in 1992 which he followed with a bronze medal at the 1993 World Championships. After his retirement in 1996, Morris made an impressive comeback to qualify for his fourth Olympic Team in 2000 at the age of 33. After the Sydney Games, Morris turned his focus to coaching full-time, leading both his home program at the USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville, N.Y. as well as serving as a coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.
Pedro began his career as a 20-year-old who won a bronze medal at the 1991 World Championships before competing on the first of his four U.S. Olympic Teams. Pedro won his first Olympic medal in the 71kg division in 1996 and became only the third U.S. player to win a World Championship in 1999. After placing fifth at the 2000 Games, Pedro retired from the sport, but still had unfinished business to do. Inspired by his trip to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Pedro returned from retirement and became the first U.S. player ever to win two Olympic medals when he earned a bronze in Athens. Pedro now runs his own program – USA Judo National Team FORCE – in Wakefield, Mass. where he coached three athletes to Olympic berths in 2008 and is the head of the USA Judo Elite U-23 Team. Pedro also served as coach of the 2012 Olympic Judo Team where he coached athlete Kayla Harrison to the first gold medal win at the Olympic Games ever for the United States.
In 1988 Roethke competed on the first women’s U.S. Olympic Team for Judo, winning a silver medal in the demonstration event as a 61kg player after winning a World silver medal the previous year. Roethke, who also competed at the 1992 Games, is still the only U.S. woman to advance to the finals of an Olympic Games. Roethke currently serves as a coach at Club Olympia Judo in Wisconsin.
Swain qualified for his first of four Olympic Teams in 1980, but was unable to compete when the United States boycotted the Games in Moscow. Swain would go on to compete at the 1984 and 1988 Games, winning bronze in 1988 on the heels of his 1987 World title. Swain came out of retirement to compete in his fourth Olympic Games in 1992 before turning his focus to running Swain Mats which has since become one of the largest suppliers of martial arts mats in the world. Swain also is a coach of his alma mater – San Jose State University and was inducted into the Pan American Judo Union Hall of Fame in May 2008.