Max Schneider’s judo journey takes him to the gold medal podium in Singapore. It all began 12 years ago when he was bullied in the school yard.
American Max Schneider, 17, won gold in the 66 kg category on the first day of judo at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games. I met him earlier at training, when we were shooting a profile for the Olympic News Channel. Here is Max Schneider, in his own words.
“I got started in judo when I was 5 years old. My mother caught a bully bullying me in the school yard. And my mother – being Italian – was scared that I was going to grow up to be a fairly small kid, and she didn’t want me to get bullied anymore so she found judo and enrolled me.”
“The coolest thing about judo is kind of the family atmosphere, you know. You travel to so many different countries when you’re doing judo and no matter where you are, you can always find people who do judo and they kind of accept you into their own judo family, so it’s kind of like you have relatives all over the world.”
“My greatest strength in judo is probably I know how to use my size. For my weight, I’m a little bit shorter and stockier so I know exactly the moves I need to do on the taller people, or the people with the same size build as me, so it’s just the scouting aspect of it.”
“The Youth Olympic Games mean everything. I mean, I’ve worked my whole life just trying to get to the Olympics so this is just one more stepping stone. I’ve come here to represent my country, represent myself, and to have fun.”