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11: Nick Delpopolo on His Olympics Experience, Close Matches, Coaching, and Starcraft

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nick-delpopolo-judo-olympian-take-it-uneasy-podcastIn episode 11, I talk to judo olympian Nick Delpopolo. He is ranked #1 in the United States and top 10 in the world. We talk about the four dramatic matches that qualified him for the 2012 Olympics and the four matches at the Olympics, the loss by referee decision, overcoming the aftermath of the THC test, his journey in judo and wrestling, the Hound and Tyrion from the Game of Thrones, the importance of a coach, Yoshisada Yonezuka, Jimmy Pedro, Jason Morris, close referee calls, training partners, uchimata, new gripping rules, randori, weight cutting, his life in an orphanage, his parents, Starcraft, etc.

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Matches with Commentary

Quotes

Nick Delpopolo on  not complaining about referee decisions during the match:

“When you lose a referee’s decision 2 to 1 in the Olympic quarter final and the match to get in for bronze, you’re just shreds away, you’re just decimals away, it’s nothing, that’s how close it is, that’s how fine that margin is. That’s what you think about a lot. What would’ve made a difference there? Getting up for one more run? Anything could’ve helped. It’s so close. If you run out there and you get thrown for ippon in a minute, okay fine, there’s not a whole lot to think about. But if you run out there and you play a five minute match with one of the best guys in the world, you almost score a couple times, he can’t score on you, it’s really close… Man, there’s a lot to think about there. That’s what hurts about that: being close. But it’s just motivation to push harder.”

Nick Delpopolo on not complaining about referee decisions during the match:

“While I’m out there and if the call is not going my way there is not a whole lot I can do about it. Complaining about it… You’re only out there for 5 to 10 minutes. Being negative, throwing your arms up, causing a scene is wasting valuable minutes of energy… Just play the match.”

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