By Jennifer Garcia, USA Judo Communications
Team USA Paralympic Judo Coach Scott Moore and Assistant Coach Heidi Moore have always approached judo as a family affair. Even more so as they packed up their bags for London to lead what many consider one of the most promising paralympic teams seen in recent years.
After 13 years working together as head instructors at the Denver Judo Club, the Moores have finessed and synchronized their training style to compliment each other’s strengths. “We are very fortunate we share the same passion for judo,” says Scott. “Judo is a calling for us and after 13 years of coaching together, you could say our systems are automatic,” says Scott.
Scott, 42, is a highly respected paralympic medalist who continues to set an example for many in the sport today. At the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games, Scott earned the nation’s first Paralympic gold medal in the men’s 73 kg class. Scott’s paralympic accomplishments also include a bronze medal during the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games and the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
Despite the deserved accolades, Scott is circumspect of the praise. “I really appreciate all of the support we have received from USA Judo. We feel very lucky to be in this position and to have put together such a strong team. We have a great shot for a few medals this year.”
Heidi, 37, in her own right, is considered a pioneer in the sport. Heidi first discovered judo at the age of 11 and hasn’t stopped training since. She is a multi-time junior, high school and collegiate junior champion. In 2004, Heidi’s bronze medal at the National Championships paved the way to the Olympic Trials where she made a clean sweep in her division, +78kg. However, the United States did not qualify in that weight category for the Olympic Games and as such, she did not participate. Most recently, Heidi earned silver in the 78 kg weight division at the 2012 US Senior Nationals.
Says Heidi: “Judo is the best sport in the world. Aside from its great history, judo is open to all ages who can participate and for those who view it as a lifetime sport.”
For Heidi, coaching alongside Scott is second nature. Their shared respect of judo binds them together. “We understand what it takes to make elite athletes. We tailor our teaching techniques to the individual,” explains Heidi.
With the 2012 London Paralympic opening ceremonies just days away, the Moores are confident USA Judo’s paralympic team will repeat the success of Team USA Judo. “We are very excited about our team. They’ve been training very hard, we have a great edge, and we are confident our team will do very well,” says Heidi.
The 2012 London Paralympic Games will take place Aug. 29-Sept. 9.