USA Judo Announces Inaugural Athletes Advisory Council
by Nicole Jomantas
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Judo is pleased to announce the selection of the organization’s first-ever Athletes’ Advisory Council.
The seven-member AAC was designed to create a stronger athlete voice within the organization and build a liaison between the athletes and USA Judo’s administration with council members working with organizational leadership to serve and protect athletes’ rights.
At the conclusion of an online election that ran from June 15-22, elite athletes within the organization had the opportunity to vote for five athletes representing their representative constituencies with the winners as follows:
Hannah Martin (Schenectady, N.Y. / NYAC / Jason Morris Judo Center) has competed at the highest levels of national and international competition for nearly 20 years, winning her first Senior National Championships medal in 2006 at age 17 and earning a position as an alternate to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Judo Team. The six-time Senior World Team member continues to represent Team USA and is currently the eighth-ranked U.S. woman in the world rankings.
Ben Goodrich qualified for his first Paralympic Games in 2016 – just five years after the standout high school wrestler was introduced to the sport. In 2021, Goodrich returned to his second Games, winning a silver medal in Tokyo. Goodrich is continuing to train for the opportunity to represent Team USA in Paris with the goal of returning to the podium.
Kristin El Idrissi began her judo career as a shiai competitor, rising through the senior rankings to win bronze medals at the 2016 and 2018 Senior National Championships. After adding kata to her repertoire, El Idrissi earned her first national title in kata in 2019 and followed with another in May. Now an international kata competitor, El Idrissi placed in the top eight at the Pan Am Kata Championships last month.
A silver medalist at both the 2008 Junior Olympics and 2012 Collegiate Nationals, Matthew Parker has continued his competitive career as a veteran judoka, placing second at the Veteran National Championships in May.
Dominic Rodriguez made history in April when the then-17-year-old became the youngest U.S. man to win a Senior Pan American title, taking gold at 73kg. The three-time Cadet Pan American Champion is seeking to compete at his first Junior World Championships with his eyes on an Olympic berth in the coming years.
In addition to these five athletes, two AAC representatives will be the athlete directors on the USA Judo Board of Directors. The first will be Marti Malloy as USA Judo’s representative to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Board of Directors. A Paralympic representative will be selected to the board and, accordingly, the AAC during an election later this year.