Several years ago, Ronda was a young teenager competing at the Ontario Open. A friend had videotaped her matches. On one match, the opponent came into o soto gari, she got Ronda leaning backward somewhat, then in a burst of energy, Ronda reversed the direction and slammed her opponent into the mat. I heard the other girl's coach say,
"That was just pure strength."
I recognized the voice of an exceptionally good Canadian coach responding,
"And what's wrong with that, eh?"
Seriously, if you are COMPETING in judo you by definition have accepted the idea that it is a sport. How on earth do you get the idea that winning in a SPORT through physical prowess and conditioning is somehow cheating? It wasn't as if she got an extra 200 points tacked on her SAT score, for heaven's sake. Sport performance is SUPPOSED to have a physical component. Don't get me wrong, she'll be doing a lot of judo drills this week, too. But, the more strength and conditioning you have the more different techniques you can pull off and for a longer period of time in a match and for more matches in a row.
Frankly, if in the next tournament she pins everyone in her division, and the other coach says,
"She just won because she's bigger and stronger,"
I will smile politely because now I have to be presidential and all, but what I will be thinking to myself is,
"Well, if that bothers you, you should have fed your kid more."
------------Focus on the good ----------------
How many Olympic silver medalists would fly across country to do a clinic for kids, come to a coaches conference to give a keynote speech then teach his/her sport the next day in a session for coaches? Well, at least one, 1988 Olympic silver medalist Lynn Roethke, from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Here she is shown at the banquet of the USJA/USJF National Coaches Conference in Las Vegas.
Flanking her are Bob Treat and Deb Fergus, both of Southside Dojo in Michigan. This club founded the All-Women's Tournament and supported it for the first few years simply because they wanted to see more opportunities for women. They also opened the Women's Judo Hall of Fame.