A multi-time gold-medalist, Shohei Ono has made it his business to direct all things in his life to judo. As a result, he is one of the best lightweight judokas in the world. When he is not going to the sauna or enjoying hot baths, Ono is always studying judo.
Speaking on the International Judo Federation’s “Coffee with Celine” YouTube series, Ono discussed his path to the sport. With the eight values under his belt, Ono believes that the sport is something he can never let go of.
“I don’t remember the exact age though (when interested in judo), I started judo when I was, maybe, 7 years old,” Ono stated. “I left my family when I was 12 years old, and have lived my life only for judo. This made me strong.”
Ono started his legacy as an impactful ippon by winning the Grand Slam in Tokyo in 2012. In 2013, he exceeded expectations by winning the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro at -73 kg, a weight he is very comfortable in. Ono ended up doing that three more times, most recently in 2019 in Tokyo. In 2016, Ono won the gold medal during the 2016 Olympics and has since added gold at the Asian Games.
With over 53 wins, Ono has beaten some of the best. Someone who he would like to face is Fabio Basile, a man looking to excel past him as the top judoka. As far as future goals, Ono is hoping to bring judo to prominence in Japan.
“I would like to try my best to change this pressure into positive energy,” Ono went on to say. “After I win this Tokyo Olympics and get the second Olympic title, I would like if the number of judo fans in Japan will dramatically increase just like that of Europe. Each time I fight in the grand slam in Europe, I always feel the great passion from fans. I always hope this could happen in Japan as well.”
With the Olympics postponed until 2021 in Japan, Ono has time to enhance his skills to impress those within his country.