I thought I knew some really tough people, and then I met the second judo gold medal winner from the USA at the Youth Olympic Games.
When I say tough, I mean how many people do you know who can do a thousand push-ups a day?
A day after her teammate Max Schneider won gold in judo at the Youth Olmypic Games in Singapore, Katelyn Bouyssou did the same. She did so thanks to a brilliant afternoon and evening of bouts. She was fast, tenacious, and smart. Her embrace with her father (and coach ) Serge after the bout was one of the most emotional moments for people watching the events.
I met with Katelyn a week before the bout, to shoot her profile for the Olympic News Channel. Here she is, in her own words:
“The most unusual thing that I’ve done in my judo career is a thousand push-ups a day. When I was 6 years old, I read in a magazine that a famous judo player who won the Olympics did a thousand push-ups a day. After I read that, I reported it to my dad. I was like, ‘dad, I’m going to win the tournament with the five rings and I’m going to do a thousand push-ups a day.’ From then on, I just started and gradually moved to a thousand by the time I was 7 years old.”
“My biggest influence has been my dad. Ever since I was 6 years old, he would bring me to the judo club and he would have me watch him work out and I would just beg him to get on the mat and roll around and finally, one day, he ended up opening a judo club just for me and my little brother to train. Now it has grown to be huge, and huge for other people.”
“What I love about judo is going into a club and knowing you have something to work for, and knowing you’re training your hardest among all the people that love and support you, to get better, and reach your ultimate goal.”
“What it means for me to be at the Youth Olympic Games is, supporting your country, representing it with honour. I think it’s a great thing that I get to be here and this is something that I’ve looked forward to my whole life.”
“My goal for the Youth Olympic Games is to win. Not just to come here and compete and represent my country but to do well for them and I know I have it in me. And even if I don’t do what I want to do, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and train for it again.”