Shaping The Future Of Judo

Shaping The Future Of Judo

Paula Pareto And Travis Stevens As Coaches And Role Models

Judo is founded on the fundamental values of excellence and dedication to propel an athlete to the pinnacle of the sport. Over this past weekend at the Pan-American Oceania Championships, two names stood out as living examples of perseverance and success. They are Paula Pareto (ARG) and the American Judo System’s very own Travis Stevens (USA). Each are Olympic Medalists who’s impact on judo goes well beyond their accomplishments on the tatami. Today, these two Oympians have embarked a new challenge as coaches. Their passion and vision for the sport is helping to transform the future of judo in the respective countries, Argentina and the United States.

Paula Pareto (ARG), nicknamed the “La Peque” or “The Little One,” is a legendary figure in Argentina. During the 2008 Olympic Games, she had one of the most dramatic matches of the whole tournament against Pak Ok-Song (DPRK) in which Pareto took home the bronze medal. After failing to medal at the 2012 Olympic games, she returned in 2016 to win Gold and prove that size does not matter. 

However, Pareto is much more than a judoka. Throughout her international career, she was a practicing doctor. The newest challenge for Pareto, coaching. She aims to pass on her knowledge and experience to future generations of Argentinian Judoka. 

Travis Stevens became an Olympic Silver Medalist during the 2016 Rio Olympic games, his final Olympics. Shortly after, he embarked on a seminar tour across the United States to share his profound knowledge of judo. This marked the beginning of his venture into teaching judo as a coach. In 2017, he became the Head Coach of Project Gold, a Non-Profit organization focused on helping judoka improve their judo through training camps hosted around the United States. He then became a coach for Team FORCE (of which he is a former member of) out of Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, MA. In 2020, he Co-Founded the American Judo System, which is an all inclusive system of learning, teaching, & developing your own style of judo. 

What separates Paula Pareto and Travis Stevens is their profound commitment to the development of young judo players. Both were involved in the training and coaching of cadet and junior athletes that competed at the Pan-American and Oceania Championships in Calgary this past weekend. Their vision transcends their individual successes. They are both focused on building a strong judo system in their respective countries for the next generations. 

The presence of Olympic legends in the coaching chair is inspirational for the young athletes who aspire to follow in the footsteps of Paula Pareto and Travis Stevens.  It is a reminder to the next generation of judoka that success in sport is achieved through hard work, discipline, and dedication. Their contributions as coaches helps to strengthen judo as a whole in the Pan-American region. They have both played a crucial role in the development and preparation of athletes who could compete in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. 

Paula Pareto and Travis Stevens knowledge and leadership are essential for building and maintaining a high level of Pan-American judo!

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