It isn’t everyday that you get an opportunity to be an Olympian and compete against the very best in the World.  To win a Bronze Medal in London is almost as amazing as the love and support I have from my family, friends and the supporters of the Olympics and USA Judo.  I can’t begin to express how grateful I felt being your representative and earning a spot on the Medal Podium.  I could feel each and every one of you standing right there with me.

Speaking of standing on that podium, I think we all need to remember Olympians like Margaret Castro-Gomez, 11 time National Champ and Bronze Medalist in the ‘88 Olympic Games and Silver Medalist Lynn Roethke also from the ‘88 Olympics.  These fellow Judokas and many others paved the way for the rest of us.  I stood where they stood and that makes me proud.  Other Jukodas will follow me, and that is even better.

I share this medal with so many people.  From everyone at San Jose State and especially the San Jose State University Judo Team.  The amazing and wonderful Yosh Uchida for all of your years of dedication and sacrifice; none of us would be here without you.  To all of the coaches who have taken the time to help me reach the Olympics and especially Coach Shintaro Nakano, Coach Keith Nakasone, Coach Mike Swain, Coach Chuck Jefferson and the Coaches that taught my coaches.  Last but surely not least all of my training partners like Corwin Leaned for helping me improve and all of the San Jose State Alumni for your support.

They say behind every great man there is a even greater woman.  I think behind every great woman there is a great family.  My Mom and Dad and brothers have been everything to me.  Without their love, drive and support I do not know where I would be today.  I doubt I would be an Olympian and surely not an Olympic Medalist.  You guys always made me believe anything is possible through hard work and sacrifice.  It is because of you I know there is Olympic Gold in my future.

I am honored to be doing what I love.  I will never know everyone who helped me, if I’ve neglected to thank you here, please know your support makes all of this possible.  You allow us Judoka’s to dream big and reach for Olympic Gold.

I can hear the band playing and that is my cue to wrap this Thank You speech up.  There are many more that need to be thanked like David Torres, Dr. Nishime, Eltan Gelber, Shozo Fukuda, Gary Steward, George Morse, San Jose Buddhist Judo Club, Kenny Hasimoto, Marco Cruz, Christal Ransom, Angelica Delgado and everyone else that I am missing you know who you are.

Last but not least I want to thank and recognize my amazing sponsors that make all of this possible. Companies like Dollamur Sports, United Airlines, Kusakura Judo Gi’s and my new management team at Ingrained Media.