Today, I am addressing this message to all USA Judo Master Judokas to personally invite you to consider participating in the 4th IJF World Grand Masters Championships to be held but less than 3 weeks from now! I know that all of you have been sent several prior emails, as well as sent over the postal services, a couple of promotional postcards on the event, however today I felt compelled to write this personal message to you.
As most of you are aware, we took the responsibility to host this prestigious World Championships less than 3 months ago. We did this becausewe saw the opportunity to offer you, our Master athlete an opportunity of a lifetime: to compete in an IJF World Championships on your own soil and in front of your own families and friends. This was a tough decision to make by USA Judo, because hosting a World Championships with a few years to plan is challenging enough, let alone 3 months.
However, I am happy to report to you that this event is shaping up to be one of the best World Grand Masters events; so far with over 800 participants from over 40 countries. The host headquarters hotel, as well as the site for the competitions, is the Doral Country Club and Spa Hotel, which is now a part of Donald Trump properties resorts, and is well known for its exotic settingat a world class golf course. There has never been an event of this level held at such a plush and first class facility.
Most importantly, this World Grand Masters Championships closes a very unique and extremely successful Olympic Quadrennial for USA Judo, while at the same time serving as a bridge to Rio 2016. It closes an Olympic Quadrennial that saw our USA athletes win gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games; medals at the World Championships and our first Gold medal at the London Olympic Games, coupled with a Bronze; while our Paralympic athletes continued on this success streak winning a Silver and a Bronze. And, now as the new road to Rio de Janeiro opens in front of us, what better way to cross the bridge than hosting the best the world has to offer in Masters competition right here in our country.
All of this not to mention the IJF World Cadets Championships we will be hosting in 2013, which is a Youth Olympic Qualifier for the world, and in 2014 the IJF Junior World Championships!
So, today this is your personal invitation to join us in Miami and participate in what will be an unbelievable experience. It is not too late to register, as we will have open late registration until the week of competitions. I hope that if you do decide to register late, that you also consider staying at the headquarter hotel in order to really enjoy the experience and excitement of being a part of a World Championships.
In closing, I want to express my most sincere appreciation to all of the USA Judo masters that over the last 5-6 years have supported our many national championships events. I know that at times we have fallen short of your expectations, but I am hoping that come November 8th you will be a part of this great event. I invite you to come and celebrate with us the crossing of this bridge to greater success of Judo in our country.
Thank you for your continuing support and hope to see you in Miami!
Jose H. Rodriguez