JUDO: U.S. Referees Named for 2008 Pan Ams, Olympic and Paralympic Games

April 29, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release April 29, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Colorado Springs, Colo.)-Four U.S. referees have been honored as being the U.S. representatives at this year's Pan American and Olympic events. Hector Estevez (Miami, Fla.) has been named as one of the referees for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A referee at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships, Estevez also will be working alongside fellow Americans Robert Fukuda (Fruitland, Idaho) and Bruce Larkins (Strasburg, Colo.) at the Pan American Championships in Miami, Fla., May 8-11. The Pan American Championship is one of the most important tournaments in the hemisphere and will serve as the final qualifier for the Games. Dr. Gary Berliner (Cumming, Ga.) was recently named to the referee team for the 2008 Paralympic Games, marking his second consecutive Games in this position."On behalf of the USA Judo Referee Commission it is a great privilege to congratulate Hector, Gary, Robert and Bruce on their outstanding achievement of being selected to officiate at the most important championships in the Pan American Union and the world,"said Dr. Mel Appelbaum (Mendham, N.J.), Chairman of the USA Judo Referee Education Commission."It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to the sport of judo that they have reached the highest level."For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us. -END-