Sports double up U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 5 in San Jose
By Carla O'Connell // USOC Media Services // Dec. 17, 2003
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for judo and taekwondo will take place in a two-sport competition June 5 at the San Jose State Event Center. This first-of-its-kind, dual-discipline format will feature American athletes vying for the honor of representing the USA at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
In announcing that the "Road to Athens" would again take the U.S. judo and taekwondo hopefuls through San Jose, USOC Chief of Sport Performance Jim Scherr cites the strong support of the region's residents for Olympic sports, adding, "We have great partners in the City of San Jose and the San Jose Sports Authority."
In February 2003, the San Jose State Event Center was the multi-staged venue for the inaugural "Titan Games: The Road to Athens" featuring wrestling, boxing, fencing, judo, karate, taekwondo, weightlifting, and athletics (shot put). Elite athletes representing the United States and other world sports powers competed in the "USA versus the World" format in dual and triangular meets.
"USA Judo is extremely pleased to partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the San Jose Sports Authority to conduct our trials in a community that has a history of embracing the martial arts," says USA Judo Executive Director Bill Rosenberg. "We know that our athletes will be most welcome and that the local organizers will provide an outstanding opportunity for the athletes to showcase their talents."
Rosenberg also has praise for the USOC's partnerships with the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and American cities to promote the Olympic sports and the hopefuls preparing for Athens. "The USOC's facilitation of a joint trials is an important step in maximizing efforts on behalf of smaller NGBs who would otherwise struggle to achieve such positive arrangements."
Scherr says the USOC will continue to work closely with the NGBs to increase sport exposure by spotlighting the on-going journey of athletes as they prepare for an Olympic Games and not limit the focus to the 17 days of competition. "Team Trials are always exciting and the competition is intense. In June, sports fans in the San Jose area will be able to see in person athletes who just a few months later will be competing in Athens. As an Olympian I know how special it is to earn the honor of representing the USA. It's an exceptional moment that Californians will have an opportunity to share with these members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team."
Tickets for the June 5 U.S. Olympic Judo and Taekwondo Team Trials are expected to go on sale March 1.
"The Trials will be a great event for the city – another in a long line of Olympic sports the Sports Authority has hosted," says Dean Munro, San Jose Sports Authority Executive Director. "Moreover, given the popularity of the martial arts in Northern California, the event will be tremendously successful."
The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization that serves as the sports marketing agency for the City of San Jose. Since its inception in 1991, the SJSA has worked with its community partners to bring more than 120 premier events and programs to the San Jose area. The Sports Authority was also a co-host of the USOC's inaugural Titan Games last February.