This is it!

I remember watching Barcelona 92, that cauldron being lit with the archer’s arrow, in 4 days I’ll be in that stadium watching that cauldron being lit. I’ll be surrounded by the best athletes on Earth and (something I never thought would be true) I’ll be there as one of their peers, not a spectator. It is bizarre how you can dream about a moment like that for so long (20 years!) and when you get there you realise there’s something more you want…

So, I am sitting here at Wolverhampton University (Australian Judo Team holding camp) and it’s dawned on me that in less than a week I will have accomplished the dream I have had since I was a six year old boy.

I remember watching Barcelona 92, that cauldron being lit with the archer’s arrow, in 4 days I’ll be in that stadium watching that cauldron being lit. I’ll be surrounded by the best athletes on Earth and (something I never thought would be true) I’ll be there as one of their peers, not a spectator. It is bizarre how you can dream about a moment like that for so long (20 years!) and when you get there you realise there’s something more you want…

 

For me, that is a medal. I am the first to admit that I am an outsider and unlikely to figure too highly in many people’s medal guesses. But, guess what? I will walk on that mat ranked #13 out of 36 in the 66kg category. I really hope my rivals are superstitious because I have every intention of being a bad omen for them.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to do a few interviews and stuff in recent times and the same theme keeps coming up, ‘It’s so great just to be here’. Whilst yes, this is true, that is the furthest thing from my mind.

 

If you follow my Facebook page you would have noticed that I see this competition as a war and am treating it as such.

 

Some of the reasons I can’t ‘enjoy’ the moment right now are;

 

  • There are 272 athletes on the World Ranking List in my weight class. That means there are 236 guys who would walk over hot coals to be where I am. I owe it to them to strive for MORE than participation.
  • I owe it to my family who have had to deal with me travelling the world, training every day and putting my life on hold for this dream. It isn’t their dream but they have all put their neck on the line for me at some stage.
  • I owe it to my team mates and coaches. Judo isn’t Ballet (no offence). My team have quite literally been bruised, battered, slammed, pinned and choked, all for my benefit. 
  • Most importantly, I owe it to the six year old little boy who sat in front of the TV with his mouth wide open. I didn’t realise at the time, but the only way those athletes were in that stadium is because they never settled for ‘good enough’. Being there, watching the Opening Ceremony was just a SMALL part of their dream.
  • COMPETING is what they were there for, what had gotten them there and what was driving them to be the best they could be on the ultimate stage, The Olympic Games

 

So, to sum up my crazy thoughts, I am willing to accept whatever result comes next Sunday as long as I go out, compete and give it everything I can. In my mind there is no second chance, I cannot and will not have that enter my mind!

 

I think I will end this blog with a quote from Steve Prefontaine, one of the most inspirational athletes to ever walk this Earth;

 

‘To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift’

 

Since this is the last blog I post before the games so I think it is important that to thank you guys for following my journey. I started this blog over two years ago, not having any idea it would lead me all the way to this point. I wanted to show the world the sort of things Judo players (especially Australian Judo Players) go through when chasing our dreams in this sport. I would have been happy if a couple of hundred people read my stuff but through this blog and my YouTube channel, well over 200,000 people have seen something of mine I’ve posted online. I will take that as support, not as thousands of people checking out my stuff to see ‘what has this moron done now?’, but hey, I could be wrong.

Again, thanks for the support; it has been one hell of a ride!

 


Ivo

 

Write a comment

Comments: 19
  • #1

    tina santos (Monday, 23 July 2012 02:32)

    You deserve to be there, you deserve that medal, that dream is coming true and we will be there to cheer you on!
    Well done, on a wonderful (although painful)journey! 7 days to war!

  • #2

    mikmak (Monday, 23 July 2012 06:24)

    Never lose touch with that six year old's sense of wonder and dreaming

  • #3

    Rad (Monday, 23 July 2012 07:07)

    that is quite inspirational what you've just said. Me and Matt, we both wish you all good luck. You've worked hard and you clearly don't settle down on just 'I've been there'. All I can say is 'go for it'
    we will follow you on TV.... keep us entertained for the whole day.

  • #4

    Patrick Harding (Monday, 23 July 2012 07:53)

    So proud of you Ivo. You're a champion.

  • #5

    Rod bartlett (Monday, 23 July 2012 09:23)

    There's always a little more, if you know where to look, its in the hart of a champion, be that champion, fight like your life depends on it, your already an aussie hero, hope you become a legend, all the best.

  • #6

    Louise (Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:40)

    A great marks man always hits his target. In your war be that marksman. You deserve it :-)

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