Local Olympic Spotlight: Piscataway, New Jersey Native Colton Brown, Team USA Judo
Colton Brown, a judoka from Piscataway, New Jersey has recently rocketed up the world rankings, and is hoping to make his mark in Rio.
Brown is the United States’ youngest competitor in the judo competition at 24 years old. He is ranked number one in the United States in his weight class and 25th in the world. In the past year, he has begun to finally reap some positive results. In his first Grand Prix event in Miami in 2013, he came home with a bronze medal.
After becoming the NCAA champion for the third time in 2014, Brown capped his meteoric rise in 2015 with a Pan-Am championship. He also medaled in five other tournaments in 2015, showing how he has the ability to hang tight in even the most difficult of competitions. He qualified for Rio after being ranked 22nd during qualifying, meaning he was given the last spot to Rio, as only the top 22 athletes made it.
Being listed as the 21st seed obviously means that Brown isn’t a favorite to score a medal during his time in Rio. However, he does have an off chance at upsetting his way onto the podium. He has rocketed his way up the rankings this year, and if he continues his hot streak, he could sneak his way in. While it is very unlikely for him to take home gold, having him upset his way to a bronze wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. His recent bouts against the top five athletes in the rankings were all lost, but by only very slim margins. He will be looking to win the United States’ first medal in men’s judo since the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Brown began his career in judo following an injury suffered in another sport. After breaking his leg while playing football when he was only eight years old, Brown dropped out of all sports. After the pressuring of his father, Colton Brown was placed into judo, and he began to fall in love. He learned from Yoshiada Yonezuka, a two-time U.S. Olympic Team coach, who pushed him to train at Nihon University in Japan after graduating high school in order to take him to the next level. Yonezuka passed away in 2014, so Brown wants to be able to medal for him.
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