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May 01 World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Mike Swain To Be Keynote Speaker At Night Of Champions

By Ernest Pund | May 01, 2013, 8:43 p.m. (ET)

 
Mike Swain - Olympic Bronze Medalist and World Champion

World Judo Champion, Olympic Bronze Medalist and longtime student and coach at San Jose State University, Mike Swain will be the keynote speaker at USA Judo’s upcoming Night of Champions, where renowned coaches Willy Cahill and Yosh Uchida will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

“It is my great honor to be the keynote speaker at the Night of Champions,” said Swain, a member of USA Judo’s Board of Directors. “Both Yosh and Willy have been my coaches and mentors throughout my judo career, making me a stronger fighter and better individual. Congratulations to both men and I look forward to a great evening.”

Not only is Swain one of the most successful U.S. judo competitors of all time, he is also one of the most experienced, having fought in four Olympic Games and five World Championships. Swain trained under Uchida at the San Jose State University Judo Club, and Cahill was one of his coaches at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.

This will be the third annual Night of Champions that USA Judo has hosted, providing the sport with a showcase for its finest athletes and supporters, both on and off the mat. Funds raised at the event are used by USA Judo to build the sport at every level, from community judo programs up through training centers for elite athletes.

Tickets to the gala event, scheduled for July 19 at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City, CA, are $100 each and selling quickly. Contact Sherrie Wilson, USA Judo’s Director of Marketing, at sherrie.wilson@usajudo.us to reserve your place now.

Few people have done so much to advance the sport of judo in this country. These three men have been a particularly powerful presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the gala event, including seated dining and silent auction, is planned.

In 1987, Swain was the first U.S. male judoka to win a World Championship. He had already taken a silver medal at the 1985 World Championships and would go on to win another silver there in 1989. He also took a gold medal at the 1987 Pan American Games.

He is one of the few U.S. judo athletes to be on four Olympic teams. He took his bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Swain travelled extensively in training but returned to San Jose State University frequently where he was under Yoshihiro Uchida. He graduated from San Jose State in 1985 with a degree in business marketing. To this day, Swain has continued coaching there and working through his Swain Scholarship to bring more judoka to the campus. He is the Vice President of Martial Arts at Dollamur, Sports LP, where he oversees the development and sales of martial arts equipment. He continues to serve as a member and key spokesperson for USA Judo’s Board of Directors.

Yosh Uchida is founder and head coach of the San Jose State University judo program, a foundry for many of the nation’s most successful judoka including Olympic medalists Bobby Berland, Mike Swain, Kevin Asano and Marti Malloy. Uchida led the nation’s first U.S. Olympic Judo Team to the very first Olympic judo competition, held in 1964 in Tokyo, where Jim Bregman took a bronze medal.

Willy Cahill has been an assistant U.S. Olympic Judo coach twice and a U.S. Paralympic Judo coach twice, leading the U.S. Team to the 2000 Paralympic Games where athletes took two gold medals, the first for the nation. Cahill’s San Bruno dojo has produced more than a thousand state, national and international medalists. Among those are Olympic silver medalist Lynn Roethke, 1984 Olympian Brett Baron, who was Willy’s student in his San Bruno dojo, and women’s Olympic Judo Team Coach Corinne Shigemoto, now USA Judo’s COO.

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