Nina Cutro-Kelly Set to Become the Oldest American Judoka to Compete in the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/15/2021, 10:33 AM EDT


Team USA announced its Judo team for the Tokyo Olympics on 5 July. The four-person team will be the smallest team the U.S. has ever sent for Women’s Judo since they added the event to the Olympic program in 1992.

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Part of this team is Nina Cutro-Kelly, who is set to become the oldest U.S. Judoka in the 57-year Olympic history of the sport. She is a heavyweight competing in the +78 category at the Olympics.

 

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This year Judo will return to its birthplace in Japan, in the same year and the same arena where it made its Olympic debut in 1964. 

Read more: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Aussie Eventer Bows Out of Equestrian Event After Injury to Horse

Cutro-Kellys professional career

Nina Cutro-Kelly is a veteran Judoka and has been competing in the sport internationally since 2008. The 10-time US Champion will make her first appearance at the Olympic games this year. 

Cutro-Kelly is currently ranked World No. 32 in the 78kg class in the International Judo Federation’s Olympic ranking 2021. Let’s take a look at her achievements:

  • 6 x USA Judo National Champion 
  • 4-time Judo World Team Member 
  • 2015 Pan American Championships Bronze Medalist 
  • 2015 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist 
  • 2 x SAMBO (Russian Combat Wrestling) Super World Cup Champion 2015
  •  #1 World Ranking in SAMBO 
  • Two-time gold medalist at the U.S. Senior National Championships in 2013 and 2014
  • 2013 French Brazilian Jiujitsu Champion
  • Competitor at the 2012 and 2014 Pan American Games 
  • Member of the 2009 and 2010 Senior World Championship teams 
  • 2005 U.S. Women’s Heavyweight Wrestling Champion

Record-Breaking Olympics Debut

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On July 30, when Nina Cutro-Kelly competes in the +78 category at the Olympics, she will be 36 years and 217 days old. She will be around 34 days older than the previous record-holder, 3-time Olympian Celita Schutz. Schutz broke the record at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Only three women have been older than Cutro-Kelly while competing at the Olympics. The oldest of which is Ecuador’s Carmen Chala, who was 42 when she participated in 2008.

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Allan Binoy

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Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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