by Dave Delgado
Guam - Ric Blas Jr. is representing Guam in the super heavyweight division in Judo. Ric Jr. has been busy prior to the Olympic Games training around the world. Ric competed in both the European and Asian circuits prior to the Olympics. He recently took a bronze medal at the U.S World Championships in Florida.
Blas told KUAM Sports, "Almost every single person that I fought in Europe, you get anywhere from 80 to 100 plus people in my category, the European circuit and the World circuit. It will be trimmed down going into the games because not everyone qualifies but it is going to be tough. These guys have been doing it their whole life, I'm just coming in and they're still the veterans. These guys are tough and I'll be seeing some of the boys that I just competed against in Europe and in Asia out there at the Olympic Games in London. Well right now there is a world ranking system and when I first started off trying to qualify I came in real late so I was ranked number 144 at the time. I moved up over the tournaments into the 40's area, I don't know where exactly because it might have changed from this last tournament in Miami."
Before heading to the games Ric traveled around Japan picking up quality training sessions at the different universities. Blas' love for the island has helped him dig deep and push forward wanting to put Guam amongst the best competitors from around the world.
He added, "I've spent a huge part of my life representing Guam and to be able to do it at the world stage has been an honor and if it weren't my love for Guam and the people it wouldn't mean as much. It's because I love Guam so much I'm looking forward to representing again. I just want the people of Guam to know anything is possible. This high level is never impossible to reach and everyone should strive for it. Our athletes now are the best prepared we've ever been and I'm hoping that we will pull results better than ever in history. We have had a huge representation at the games, a lot of us have been doing as much as we can to represent and put everyone on the map.
"I still get a lot of where is Guam? What is it like? And Is it a part of the U.S.? So we still have to step it up when it comes to representation and try to get everyone to know where we are and who we are."