Iranian Junior Judo Team Dies in Plane Crash

July 15, 2009, 7:11 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - USA Judo recently learned of the death of 11 members of the Iranian Junior Judo Team, including eight athletes, two coaches and a head of the delegation, that were aboard the jet that crashed on Wednesday morning outside Tehran, Iran.  USA Judo extends its deepest sympathies to the victims and their families as well as the Iran Judo Federation and their Olympic family following this tragic event. 

USA Judo President Lance Nading (Denver, Colo.) stated: "I urge you to join me in mourning the loss of our judo brothers that have had their lives taken from them at such a young age.  Whether one of those athletes might have gone on to become a Olympic Champion or bring the gift of judo to a town or village that had not been introduced to the sport, sadly, we will not have the opportunity to know.  These young athletes will not have the chance to grow into adulthood and fully understand and appreciate the global bond that we all share as judoka.  On behalf, of USA Judo, we hope that their family, friends and teammates in their hometowns accept our sincere condolences on their tragic loss."