Really? These Are Teenagers?
No doubt about it, these are teenagers, more than 550 of them from all over the world headed to Miami for the World Cadet Championships next week.
But these aren’t just any teens. Their resolve, determination and taste for competition are uncommon among adults, let alone ‘kids.’ And their physical condition is extraordinary out of necessity.
Listen to the words of 16-year-old Nadine Fiege of Atlantic Beach, FL: “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.” See her profile at FIEGE and two other profiles at ABREU and DIAZ.
They are among the 19 teens on the U.S. team coming from all over the nation – two from Hawaii, four from Texas, six from Florida, four from New Jersey, others from New York, California, Hawaii and Illinois – all of their mettle tested at two national qualifying tournaments earlier this year. See the U.S. ROSTER.
In the days before this epic tournament, all of them will be at an international camp, grappling against the very fighters they will face on the mats at the Cadets to win berths at their national teams headed to the Youth Olympic Games next year in Nanjing and $50,000 in prizes for those who climb the podium. Go to the CAMP.
And immediately following the World Cadets, the International Judo Federation is hosting a daylong seminar with a broader perspective on the importance of engaging youth in the sport, Building Better Societies Through Judo, featuring keynote speakers who founded huge youth programs in the Netherlands and worn-torn nations of Africa. Go to BETTER KIDS.