Why an Olympic Judo Athlete Was Inspired by...a Pokémon Fight

Illustration for article titled Why an Olympic Judo Athlete Was Inspired by...a Pokémon Fight
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Gotta catch 'em all! And then, flip them over your shoulder. Judo athlete Ashley McKenzie, who competes for Team Great Britain, went from young Poké punk to serious athlete after a fight broke out over his Charizard card.

When McKenzie was 11, another kid tried to swipe his Pokémons. "This Charizard was the best card," he told Mail Online. "It was my life back then." A fight broke out, but it didn't go the way McKenzie planned.

"I've gone to grab his shirt and next thing I knew I was over his shoulder. I was a scrapper back in the day so I knew this wasn't right," he said. 'I went for him again and as I've gone for him he's thrown me again. I was thinking, "No way, what's going on? How's he throwing me? He's hurting me.'"


McKenzie fired up the internet and learned that he'd be outmaneuvered by a judo move. Keen to learn more, he went to his local judo club, where his Charizard thief was. McKenzie started judo, befriended the other kid, and eventually got his Pocket Monster card back.

I guess you could say that McKenzie evolved into a top-notch judoka, and his final form is Olympian? It seems like McKenzie's coaches had enough badges to train him...

Team GB star McKenzie took up judo after fight over Pokemon card [Mail Online]

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Charizard was like The One Ring back in the day. I loved that card so... Won a local tournament just to get another. Primarily used a Normal-focused deck, but the card was just for "Damn, that's awesome." more than anything practical.

Good for him for trying to stand up for his card, and it's great that he turned that experience into some amazing decisions that have led him so far. :)