Colton Brown competes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Colton Brown came to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a plan.
Although it didn’t come to fruition, the two-time Olympic judoka said he left it all out on the mat before announcing his retirement from the sport.
“The amount of support I’ve received from my family and friends has been incredible, and I fought with all of you guys in my heart,” he wrote on social media. “When I woke up yesterday, my heart was full. My mind went back to my 12 year old self working out in the backyard with my father. If someone told me then that I would eventually travel the world meeting incredible people and competing at the highest level of sport, I wouldn’t have believed them. Dreams really do come true if you’re willing to put the work in and have a solid group of people around you. Thank you guys for making my time on the mat an unforgettable experience.”
The Olympic Games are now over for all four of the U.S. judo athletes.
Brown, 29, won by ippon in the opening bout in the men’s 90 kg., beating Raphael Schwendinger of Liechtenstein. He then faced Turkey’s Mihael Zgank and lost by waza-ari to end his Olympic run. Brown, from Piscataway, New Jersey, announced his retirement immediately after and reflected on the fact that his judo career essentially started when he moved to Tokyo to live and train following high school.
“Finishing here (at the Nippon Budokan) makes it all the more special,” he told reporters. “Everybody always asks, ‘If this were your last match, how would you fight?’ I’m not upset with how I fought in that last match. For me to make it here and on top of that leave everything I had in the tank on this mat, I think this is the best I’ve ever fought today. It’s a really special feeling, shows the growth and it shows that if you train hard enough and put your mind to something you can vastly improve. I gave it everything I had.”