A Letter to Masters Judoka from the New Chairman of Masters Committee Bo Svenson

Aug. 27, 2013, 4:14 p.m. (ET)

Dear Fellow US Judoka,

My appointment to chair the USA Judo Masters Committee and to serve as manager for the 2013 USA Judo Masters World Championship Team is not only an honor but a responsibility: Being a "master" is much more than being 30 and older, and I believe that judo masters in the United States could help determine judo’s Olympic existence and future.

The International Judo Federation led by Marius Vizer has done an excellent job promoting the sport. Worldwide popularity remains very strong. In the United States we have our first Olympic Gold Medal thanks to Kayla Harrison, and USA Judo has recently hosted a series of high profile IJF tournaments for the first time, including the Masters World Championships in Miami last November. Meanwhile, the United States is a tremendous market for the IOC.

All of this points to the opportunity we have, to build the popularity of our beloved sport on home soil. Few, if any, are better equipped than our masters athletes to lead that charge! Typically successful and well educated people, we’re accustomed to the fact that genuine achievement requires hard work and tenacity. We can be pivotal in building this sport. Many of us already are working hard to this end.

Just as I am committed to serve USA Judo Masters, and thereby all judo masters in the United States, I am also committed to do all that I can, with the help of the masters community, to increase the profile and popularity of judo overall in our country.

In the coming weeks, I will publish some recommendations online and look forward to your comments and interaction.

In Judo,

Bo Svenson

Chairman, USA Judo Masters Committee