Mr. Lance Nading, USA Judo President (left) with Jose Humberto Rodriguez, USA Judo CEO (right). - PHOTO CREDIT: Doral Family Journal/www.doralfamilyjournal.com
An indication of great confidence in USA Judo to successfully execute the most important judo tournaments in the world, leadership of the International Judo Federation recently deemed the World Cadet Championships held last weekend in Miami as the most successful IJF tournament yet hosted on U.S. soil.
"This is great, great news, because we are eager to hold more major events on home turf," said USA Judo's CEO Jose H. Rodriguez. "Bringing these major international tournaments to the United States is a key part of our strategy to support our athletes, popularize the sport at home and demonstrate to the world that we are a force to be reckoned with."
The World Cadet Championships attracted a total of 530 athletes from 77 nations for this premier competition among teens ages 15-17. Held at the luxurious Doral Golf Resort and Spa just minutes from the Miami International Airport and the mythical white sand beaches and nightlife of Miami, the four-day event was widely applauded as a huge success.
Competition was well organized and began on time. With the competition venue located at the resort where many participants stayed for the event, athletes, coaches and officials could easily walk to their rooms for a quick rest or to one of several restaurants for food or snacks. Video coverage of the event, broadcast live over the web, provided by the IJF via IPPON.TV was dynamic, engaging and seamlessly professional with live commentary, VIP and athlete interviews. Following the Cadet competition, the IJF held its first Judo for Children seminar, entitled "Building Better Societies Through Judo," at the tournament venue.
"It is great to get kudos," said Rodriguez, "but it’s even more important to hear, and to know that the International Judo Federation has faith in us. We are intent on hosting more, and even bigger events, including the most elite event of them all, the IJF Senior World Championships."
The IJF already has demonstrated their faith with action, awarding USA Judo the privilege of hosting the Junior World Championships next year on home soil -- a location has yet to be determined. Like the World Cadet Championships last weekend in Miami, this tournament, for ages 15 - 20, is a veritable rite of passage for up-and-coming stars shooting for the highest senior podiums on earth, including the the Olympic Games.
"The success that we are enjoying today at the international level would have been very pleasing to our past president Frank Fullerton, who for years worked hard to make USA Judo a force at the international level,” said Lance Nading, current president of USA Judo. “Actually, our success today is the result of all USA Judo’s past presidents, leaders like Mr. Yosh Uchida, Mr. Fullerton and Dr. Ron Tripp, my predecessor. We must also credit our great staff, led by COO Corinne Shigemoto, our members and financial supporters who continue to demonstrate their faith in our organization and our athletes. It is so rewarding to witness this collective momentum that is building our great sport in the United States. We can all be very proud."
It was only a few years ago that USA Judo hosted it's first IJF World Cup tournament (now called Continental Opens), also at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. Since then, USA Judo has held three World Cups total in Miami, a World Masters Championship (athletes 30+ years), a Grand Prix earlier this year and the World Cadet Championships this past weekend.
"We are extremely proud of these tournaments," Rodriguez said. "And we are honored to have the IJF show such faith in our abilities. We look forward to many more fantastic tournaments -- this can only get better!"