Florida teen Nadine Fiege of Atlantic Beach to represent USA in upcoming World Cadet Champs

By Jennifer Garcia | July 29, 2013, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

Every time Nadine Fiege, 16, stands on the tatami and faces her opponent, she is raring to go. As she sees it, each hard fought match brings her one tantalizing step closer to earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

“I love judo,” says Fiege. “It’s just you and your opponent on the mat, and to me, that moment is the biggest challenge in the world. I like being tested this way.”

With various national wins under her belt, Fiege, 70 kg, who’s been training with her father since the age of three, is ready to defend her title in the upcoming World Cadet Championship. She lives in Atlantic Beach, FL. the surfside suburb of Jacksonville.

This elite competition is the latest judo event to be held at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Aug. 8 -11. World Cadets is specifically designed for youth athletes, ages 15 – 17, and is a qualifying international tournament for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. Participating nations send their top ranking youth athletes per division.

“I want to come out of World Cadets as a champion. Winning would mean everything to me because it’s been what I’ve been working for all this time,” says Fiege.

Fiege is one of four female athletes who will represent the U.S. at World Cadets. Participants in this exclusive event will compete for ranking points and for a share of $50,000 for making the podium. 

USA Judo along with the IJF continues to bring first class judo tourneys to the US, and to promote the sport in general.

The roster of Florida athletes follows along with their club names:

Ashlyn White, 48 kg, Pembroke Pines, FL, Somerset Academy-Panther Judo Club, Pembroke Pines, FL.
Katherine Lieby, 52 kg., Pembroke Pines, FL, Somerset Academy-Panther Judo Club, Pembroke Pines, FL.
Sarah Subko, Valrico, 57 kg. FL, Florida School of Judo Inc, Tampa, FL
Nadine Fiege, 70+ kg, Atlantic Beach, FL, Judo Jax, FL
Brian Abreu, 50 kg, Miami, FL, Budokan Judo, Hialeah, FL
Adonis Diaz, 57 kg, Hialeah, FL, USA Judo Training Site, Ki-Itsu-Sai, Coconut Creek, FL

The World Cadet Championships is sanctioned by the International Judo Federation and hosted by USA Judo, the national governing body under the U.S. Olympic Committee that fosters the sport and builds teams for Olympic and other elite competition. The World Cadet Judo Championships is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Some facts about judo:

  • Judo was founded in 1882 in Japan by Jigoro Kano. It is derived from jujitsu.
  • Judo has been an Olympic sport since 1964.
  • Kayla Harrison (USA Judo Training Site, Pedro’s Judo/NYAC, Wakefield, Mass.) won the nation’s first Olympic Gold Medal in the sport at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • Judo means “the gentle way.”
  • Central to Kano’s teachings of judo are the principles of “maximum efficiency, minimum effort” and “mutual welfare and benefit.”
  • Sensei Keiko Fukuda, who passed away Feb. 9 in the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived and taught judo, was the first, and only, woman to receive the rank of 10th dan, awarded by USA Judo in 2011.
  • Judo is the second most practiced sport in the world … soccer is first.

For interviews and photos, please contact Ernest Pund at ernest.pund@usajudo.us.