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April 11, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO – The United States Olympic Committee has approached USA Judo to professionally film and broadcast the upcoming Senior National Championships LIVE over the internet later this month from Orlando, FL.
“Streaming the action live for this tournament is a fantastic way for judo fans to watch some of the top fighters in the world spar for big ranking points AND a purse worth $500 for taking a gold medal – that’s sure to draw the hottest action,” said Jose Rodriguez, CEO of USA Judo.
Live streaming will cover one of five tatamis at the tournament on the second day of competition, April 30, beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST and broadcast at USA Judo’s website, http://www.judo.teamusa.org/
“Fans should be able to watch all preliminary matches assigned to the one tatami and then follow these same athletes as they fight through their brackets until they reach their gold medal matches,” Rodriguez said. “This is an innovative strategy for streaming live,” he said. “Most of the time, you only get to see the gold-medal matches but we felt that some of the best fights happen in the early rounds.”
USA Judo and sponsors of the 2011 EUROPA SHOW OF CHAMPIONS SPORTS & SUPPLEMENT EXPO, venue of this year’s Senior Nationals, put up the $500 prize for first place in each senior shiai division – this does NOT include senior open-weight divisions, masters, kata or paralympic (visually impaired) divisions.
The Europa Expo is a spectacle of sporting events, MMA conditioning contests and MUCH more in Orlando, FL, at the Orlando Convention Center. USA Judo officials see the Europa Expo as a tremendous draw for spectators looking for extracurricular entertainment while attending the Senior Nationals. They also see the venue as an opportunity to get unprecedented exposure for judo.
For those who can’t make it to the Senior Nationals and Europa Expo, the broadcast is the perfect opportunity, Rodriguez said. “Those looking to get up early on Saturday morning will be able to lay-out on the sofa and watch great Judo competitions from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., non-stop action."
The "Live Streaming" will be professionally produced by Echo Production out of Los Angeles, CA, which has been contracted by United States Olympic Committee. Live anchor color commentary will be done by former All American Wrestler and USA Judo Board member Mr. Ken Bellmard.
"Ken, was selected because both USA Judo and USOC wanted to have someone providing a different perspective to the competition," Rodriguez commented. "Wrestling has a tremendous membership base in our country, and it is our hope to attract wrestling fans and athletes and get them interested in our sport via watching great fights with some commentary relating it to basic wrestling moves."
Accompanying Ken Bellmard in the booth will be multi-time national champion and Olympian Leo White and World Champion and Olympic Medalist Mike Swain. Both are members of USA Judo’s Board of Directors and will be able to describe the technical side of judo in play-by-play commentary. Other guest commentators will include Olympian Pat Burris, USA Judo’s Director of High Performance Eddie Liddie plus surprise single-match appearances by other past Olympians and guests.
"It is very important to the future of projects like these that our members get behind them and support them. This is a great opportunity for local dojos to bring their students together for Saturday morning classes and hook up a computer and TV and have them watch and learn together from some of our top senior athletes." Added Rodriguez, "another way that a coach can help is to send this notice around to all of their local members, including potential students and have them watch. Numbers watching is important to the United States Olympic Committee, as this is how they decide to continue these broadcast efforts of sports such as ours," concluded Rodriguez.
Besides being able to watch the three to four divisions scheduled on the one tatami, spectators on line will be able to watch any fight-off that may happen between athletes attempting to win the right to represent USA Judo in the upcoming World Championships.
This "Live Streaming" broadcast can be seen by going to the USA Judo website and clicking on the Senior National Championships Live Stream Icon, or you can go directly to United States Olympic Committee website and click on Judo National Championships Live Streaming Icon there, as well.
“This is a first for USA Judo,” Rodriguez said, “an event that our members don’t want to miss. We hope that you’ll encourage friends to tune in as well.” In the week during the Senior Nationals USA Judo will announce how spectators can send in their questions and observations so that our commentators can address them live. Fans will also be able to send greetings to clubs around the nation that gather together to watch and enjoy the five hours of non-stop, top-level competition.