Thank you to the panelists and the IJF for an amazing start to our celebration of the First Women's World Judo Championships. They did a phenomenal job and there was a lot of emotion felt by all.
Also, thank you to all that tuned in today 1.5 thousand viewers - Wow! The list of countries throughout the world was endless. It truly makes all the efforts remarkable by the 40th Anniversary team. Just a few quick observations:
First, Margherita De Cal with the emotional response to seeing Paulette Fouillet. Her competitor at the time, seeing her genuine, emotional reaction to seeing a friend we have lost was so touching. You can see the larger than life heart of Margherita and the beauty of her spirit.
Monica Guadagnini from Argentina the totality of seeing herself fight for the first time and the understanding of how big this was for her. Broke her into tears, the IJF just shared with us that she was sobbing. Thank you Monica, we cried right along with you and by the way great Christmas tree.
I just completely love Dawn Netherwood's personality you can feel the love of the Kanokogi family. Although, I never met Rusty Kanokogi there is something about Dawn that just makes me feel connected to Rusty.
And How about Jane Bridge??? Actually, hearing her father cheering for her on the video. Her father she lost, that was something special.
Overall, the two things that hit me personally that I did not expect. Is the Judokas' recognizing how much Rusty really did and not understanding at the time how much it took. And secondly, the trueness of how naive we are as young athletes not understanding at the time of how huge of a moment it is to step on the world platform. Simply amazing and felt through their words.
Thank you ladies, it took me to the field when I was put in the box right at the right moment as a sophomore in college. Getting lucky to hit the outside pitch down the right field line allowing the tying and winning run to score and sending our team to the tournament for the first time in school history. Seeing my father as the first person I remember & saying "hey kid, how does it feel to hit the biggest hit of your life". and my response "ah dad I have a few more in me". We'll my dad was correct, it was the biggest hit of my life I just did not realize it at the time. Thank you for bringing me to that warm moment in life.
O.K. so a bunch of observations : ) Stay tuned for another new all star cast from the original 1WWJC up tomorrow with new reactions, laughs & tears. Another round of memories and raw emotional reactions begins at 11 CET that is 5 am on the East Coast of the United States but well worth the early morning coffee. Also zoom links for translation to Spanish, Italian and French.