On This Day

Judo in History

Events in Sport

  • 1956-05-05 World championships of judo are 1st held in Tokyo
  • 1961-12-03 Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion
  • 1964-10-23 Dutch 10th dan judoka Anton Geesink wins Open gold medal in the first ever Olympic judo competition in Tokyo; prevents clean sweep of the gold medals by Japan
  • 1964-10-25 Dutchman Anton Geesink is 1st non-Japanese Olympic judo gold medal winner
  • 1972-09-04 Willem Ruska of the Netherlands wins gold medals in both the heavyweight & open class Olympic judo competitions in Munich; first judoka to win 2 Olympic gold medals at one Games
  • 1982-12-05 Ingrid Berghmans (Neth) retains judo's world championship
  • 1992-07-30 Yael Arad becomes Israel's first ever Olympic medalist when she wins silver in the women's 61kg judo in Barcelona; 20th anniversary of Munich massacre and 500th anniversary of Alhambra Decree

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1860-10-28 Kanō Jigorō, Japanese educator and the founder of Judo, born in Mikage, Japan (d. 1938)
  • 1934-04-06 Anton Geesink, Dutch judoka (first non-Japanese world champion, Olympic gold 1964), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 2010)
  • 1940-08-29 Wim Ruska, Dutch judoka champion (Olympic gold 1972), born in Amsterdam
  • 1941-02-16 Vitali Kuznetsov, Russian judoka (Olympic silver 1972) (d. 2011)
  • 1941-07-09 Takehide Nakatani, Japanese lightweight judoka (Olympic gold 1964), born in Hiroshima, Japan
  • 1944-01-20 Isao Okano, Japanese judoka (Olympic gold 1964), born in Ryugasaki, Japan
  • 1949-12-25 Serhiy Novikov, Russian judoka (Olympic gold heavyweight 1976), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2021)
  • 1950-05-12 Shōzō Fujii, Japanese judoka (4x World Champion 1971-79)
  • 1951-01-14 Gil Pak Jong, North Korean judoka (Olympic-1976)
  • 1951-08-12 Hector Rodriguez, Cuba, lightweight judo (Olympic gold 1976)
  • 1952-06-13 Jean-Marie Dedecker, Belgian politician and former judoka, born in Nieuwpoort, Belgium
  • 1953-01-03 Angelo Parisi, French judoka (Olympic gold heavyweight 1980), born in Arpino, Italy
  • 1954-05-20 Robert Van de Walle, Belgian judoka
  • 1955-02-10 Chris Adams, British pro wrestler and judoka (d. 2001)
  • 1955-11-07 Detlef Ultsch, German judoka (Olympic bronze 1980), born in Sonneberg, Bezirk Suhl, East Germany
  • 1959-07-24 Edward Liddie, Union Ga, Judo fighter (Olympic bronze 1984)
  • 1960-08-27 Damon Keeve, heavyweight (209+ lbs) judoka (Olympics 1992, 96), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1960-12-21 Michael Swain, American judoka (Olympic bronze 88), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • 1961-05-09 Rene Capo, Cuban half-heavyweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Pinal del Rio Cuba
  • 1961-08-24 Ingrid Berghmans, Belgian judoka (8 times Belgian Sportswoman of the Year), born in Beringen, Belgium
  • 1962-04-03 Nancy Filteau, Canadian athlete, 72k judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan
  • 1963-02-02 Philip Laats, Belgian judoka
  • 1966-03-27 Kate Donahoo, US judoka (Olympic-92), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 1966-08-02 Joseph Wanag, American judoka (Olympic-92), born in Wilton, Connecticut
  • 1967-01-10 Johan Laats, Belgian judoka, born in Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1967-02-03 Jason Morris, Scotia NY, half-middleweight judoka (Olympic silver 1992, 96)
  • 1967-02-18 Harry Van Barneveld, Belgian judoka, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 1967-03-13 Colleen Rosensteel, American heavyweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1967-05-01 Yael Arad, Israeli middleweight judoka (first Israeli to win an Olympic medal - silver 1996), born in Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1967-08-13 Taro Tan, Canadian 65 kg judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1967-11-21 Toshihiko Koga, Japanese judoka (Olympic gold - 71kgs 1992; silver 1996), born in Kitashigeyasu, Saga, Japan (d. 2021)
  • 1968-02-17 Celita Schutz, American half-middleweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Riverdale, New Jersey
  • 1968-05-28 Sandra Bacher, half-heavyweight judoka (Olympics, 1992, 1996), born in Long Island, New York
  • 1969-02-17 David Douillet, French politician & judoka, born in Rouen, France
  • 1969-07-13 Ewan Beaton, 60 kg judoka (Olympics-9-92, 96), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1970-06-20 Shay-Oren Smadja, Israeli men's half middleweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Ofakim, Israel
  • 1970-10-30 James Pedro, American lightweight judoka (Olympic bronze 1992, 96), born in Danvers, Massachusetts
  • 1971-05-18 Clifton Sunada, American extra-lightweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1972-01-24 Ulla Werbrouck, Belgian judoka & politician, born in Izegem, Belgium
  • 1972-04-24 Nicolas Gill, 86kg judoka (Olympic bronze 1992, 96), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1972-05-21 Liliko Ogasawara, American middleweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Englewood, New Jersey
  • 1973-03-06 Brian Olson, middleweight (189 lbs) judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Tallahassee, Florida
  • 1973-06-05 Gella Vandecaveye, Belgian judoka, born in Kortrijk, Belgium
  • 1973-11-12 Colin Morgan, Canadian 78 kg judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • 1973-11-12 Keith Morgan, Canadian 95 kg judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • 1974-03-13 Corinna West, American lightweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Garberville Colorado
  • 1974-11-19 Orlando Fuentes, American half-lightweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Ellsworth SD
  • 1975-06-09 Carolyne Lepage, Canadian 48 kg judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1975-12-22 Sergei Aschwanden, Swiss judoka, born in Bern, Switzerland
  • 1977-02-07 Hillary Wolf, extra lightweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1980-01-20 Brigitte Olivier, Belgian judoka, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 1984-06-01 Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar, Mongolian judoka (Olympic gold -100kg 2008; silver 2012; first Mongolian Olympic gold medallist), born in Saikhan sum, Bulgan Province, Mongolia
  • 1984-06-10 Dirk Van Tichelt, Belgian judoka
  • 1985-10-01 Revazi Zintiridis, Greek judoka
  • 1987-02-01 Ronda Rousey, American pro wrestler, actress, author, mixed martial artist and judoka (UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion 6 defences; Olympic bronze 70kg judo 2008; WWE), born in Riverside, California
  • 1987-12-20 Tariel Zintiridis, Greek judoka, born in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 1991-05-09 Majlinda Kelmendi, Kosovar-Albanian judoka (Olympic gold 2016), born in Peć, SFR Yugoslavia

Deaths in Sport

  • 1938-05-04 Kanō Jigorō, Japanese educator and the founder of Judo, dies at 77
  • 1993-04-18 Masahiko Kimura, Japanese judoka, dies at 75
  • 2001-10-07 Christopher Adams, British-born pro wrestler and judoka (b. 1955)
  • 2010-08-27 Anton Geesink, Dutch judoka (first non-Japanese world champion, Olympic gold 1964), dies at 76
  • 2021-03-24 Toshihiko Koga, Japanese judoka (Olympic gold - 71kgs 1992; silver 1996), dies at 53
  • 2021-04-16 Serhiy Novikov, Russian judoka (Olympic gold heavyweight 1976), dies at 71