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Teddy Riner - Judo

Teddy Riner - Judo

Born on April, 7, 1989 in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles, Teddy Riner is a judoka (practitioner of judo) who will compete for France in this year’s upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Guadeloupe is part of the France, and while these islands are very small, they do produce some pretty big talent. Since bursting onto the scene, he has racked up an impressive collection of medals and awards.

Teddy is a monster in competition. With a 6ft 8in frame, weighing over 300 pounds, the man known as the “Teddy Bear” has awesome power and remarkable quickness. He has also been a master of the art of judo since he was 18, when he won his first world championship, becoming the youngest ever to do so.

Sporting Career

Teddy Riner grew up basically how all in the Caribbean Islands grow up: he lived a simple life in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. But unlike other children in the area, Riner took an early interest in martial arts. Judo would be his art of choice, and he possessed unparalleled talent in the craft. He started competing while only a teen, and in 2007, when Riner was just 18 years old, he competed at the World Judo Championships in the heavyweight class – one of the toughest competitions in the world, in any sport.

The +100kg field is packed with talent and, more imposingly, packed with older, extremely skilled judoka. This wasn’t a junior title like most new athletes participate in; this was the professional stage. And in shocking fashion, Teddy decimated the field to win gold in the Worlds, and then again that same year in the European Judo Championships.

Teddy’s reign hasn’t relented yet. In 2008 he would enter the World Judo Championships as the favorite. He wouldn’t disappoint. Proving that his win wasn’t simply some flash-in-the-pan effort, Riner again took home gold and was then on his way to the Summer Games in Beijing to represent France. At the Olympics, Riner was definitely among the favorites. However, he was only able to walk away with the bronze in the heavyweight division.

Undeterred, Teddy immediately picked himself up, began to train harder, and would win his third World Championship in a row in 2009. He wouldn’t compete in the Euro tournament that year, but after winning his fourth World Championship in 2010, and silver in the openweight division, he would enter and win the European Championships in runaway fashion in 2011.

This would mark the start of Teddy’s best year to date. After winning the Euro tournament, he won his unprecedented fifth consecutive world championship and also helped the men’s team to win the gold at the 2011 Championships. As the Games approach, Teddy is a tremendous favorite to dominate the field.

Career Highlights

  • 2007 World Judo Championships – Gold
  • 2007 European Judo Championships – Gold
  • 2008 World Judo Championships – Gold
  • 2008 Olympic Games – Bronze
  • 2009 World Judo Championships – Gold
  • 2010 World Judo Championships – Gold, Silver
  • 2011 European Championships – Gold
  • 2011 World Judo Championships – Gold (2)
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold

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