Please join me in congratulating our 2012 Olympic Judo Team in an amazing and all time record setting performance. As Coach Jimmy Pedro said in USA Today, " we shocked the world".
Kayla Harrison's first ever U.S. Gold Medal, Marti Malloy's Bronze Medal, Travis Stevens' 5th place and Nick Delpopolo's 7th place finishes, mark the single best performance of any U.S. Olympic Judo Team in history. Both Marti and Travis had extremely close semi-final matches and if they had gone their way would have put them both into the Gold Medal round.
We should all be elated with the strength, honor and courage this team brought with them to the London Games. They are all truly inspirational. I am proud of them beyond words.
Each one of them committed their lives and embraced the challenge many years ago. They win because they think they should win. They have a deep and profound desire to give it all they have. They leave it all on the mat each and every time. No excuses. Watching them every time they competed made me realize that this team was unique and they had risen to a level we have never seen before in American Judo.
Lastly, I wish to offer a sincere thank you to Jose Rodriguez and his team for having the vision and insight seven years ago to tear down barriers and reach out and challenge all of our country's best coaches to work together and take us to the next level. It was through that professional effort and long term commitment that clear and definitive programs were established and visions were committed to. They all stayed the course and this is the result.
President, USA Judo