July Athlete Of The Month: Nicole Stout

By Diego Osorio | Aug. 13, 2014, 10:13 p.m. (ET)

Nicole Stout (age 17, 57kg) trains in Orlando, FL at American Top Team – Black Boxx under Sensei Shinjiro Sasaki.  Nicole began Judo at the age of 13 with Sensei Pat Burris.  Prior, Nicole was an international competitor in Rhythmic Gymnastics.  However, after one practice in Judo, she knew this was her sport.  After 3 months of training with Sensei Burris, Nicole finished 3rd at Jr. Olympics Nationals in Texas.  The following year, Nicole moved to Florida and that is where she met Sensei Shinjiro Sasaki, a former National Japanese champion.  After training with him for a year, Nicole won Bronze at the Australian Youth Olympics, Gold at Jr. Olympics Nationals and Internationals.  Then she won Gold in USA CUP in cadets and Jr. IJF divisions, and won again in the San Antonio Open in the Cadet, Jr. IJF, and Seniors Divisions.  Competing in her first seniors event, Nicole placed 3rd at the Presidents Cup in Dallas, November 2013.

Sensei Jim Hrbek said, "Nicole has developed one of the most exceptional uchimata (hip throw) techniques that we have seen among US Women competitors in several years.”  Nicole is currently training hard for 2015 Judo season, in which she hopes to qualify for Jr. Worlds.  Her ultimate goal is to one day go to the biggest stage in sports, the Olympics.