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Margherita De Cal, I was taught to never cry, In 1980 I did cry it was a special moment

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

First, I apologize there has been a lot in the news leading up to our 40th Anniversary of the 1WWJC and It has been a special run in honoring Rusty Kanokogi and the many women who were trailblazers in the sport of Judo and in Life.

The IJF has released several articles about the women competitors from the First Women's World Judo Championships which have provided deep insights to their unique impact and the dynamics based on their countries' culture. In this article "Margherita De Cal: An ordinary Trailblazer" by Jo Crowley takes us to Northern Italy.

Margherita sees herself as an everyday person, but she is more than a world champion in the sport of judo. She is a gold medalist in life. I am touched by her commitment to children from the ages 6-11 for 34 years . I feel she downplays her accomplishments in judo really due to her best accomplishment in life, her positive impact on children's lives.

This article is special for us at Project Rusty, because for us this celebration of the 40th anniversary on a global scale all started with the birthday celebration of Margherita. One of her friends reached out to us for the original brackets of the 1FWWJC to utilize in a video for her birthday celebration. We forwarded it right along and the planning all begun there with the Italian representatives putting us in touch with the amazing friends we have made at the IJF.

I love the fact that there were many who contributed to the platform of Women's sports in today's society. I love the many countries that I have learned about and look forward to traveling to with Jean. I cherish the friendships we have made along the way to this big weekend in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the First Women's Judo Championships.

Please enjoy getting a glimpse into a women who inspired many young lives:


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