Brian Olson Eliminated After First Round at the Olympic Games

Aug. 13, 2008, 4:04 p.m. (ET)
(Beijing, China) - Just over a year after 1997 World medalist Brian Olson (Boulder, Colo. / Tallahassee, Fla. / 90kg) came out of retirement, he was eliminated in the first round of his fourth Olympic Games at the Beijing University of Science and Technology Gymnasium.

With the score tied at a penalty each, Olson threw 2008 Pan Am silver medalist Diego Rosatti (ARG) for a yuko (quarter point) score with a minute and 45 seconds remaining in the match.

"A minute, forty-five is still a long time in judo and I still wasn't killing his sleeve and he was capitalizing on it," Olson said.

Although both players again received penalties, the win looked to belong to Olson until Rosatti threw him with a drop seoi (dropping shoulder throw) for a yuko score to tie the match with 10 seconds remaining.

"I thought I'd won it, but you get too confident and it'll bite you," Olson said. "I couldn't get his grip off and I knew he's a strong seoi player, but I just didn't stick to my game plan."

Just over a minute into the Golden Score (overtime) period, Olson was given a penalty for stalling which cost him the match.

"I'll have to look at the tapes," Olson said when asked if he thought the penalty was deserved. "When you're out there it's hard to tell if you're stalling sometimes because you're trying to attack."

Rosatti lost his next match to Ivan Pershin (RUS), making Olson ineligible for the repechage.

"I don't have any regrets," Olson said after the match. "I know I did everything possible to get ready, but it wasn't in the cards."

At 35-years-old, Olson is one of the oldest U.S. judo players to compete at the Olympic Games. After his third Olympic Games, Olson retired in 2004, but chose to come back to the sport to try and win the one honor that has eluded him - an Olympic medal.

"It was never about just making another team. I came here to win a medal and, obviously, that's disappointing," Olson said. "But the best parts of my life have been spent on the mat. Nothing compares to it, so I don't regret it at all. I think age is just a number, but you sometimes you have to fight smarter as you get older and I just wasn't today."