Judo boss slams Brian Cookson’s Winter Olympic idea

Moving judo and cycling to the winter games is laughable, according to Judo boss Marius Vizer

by Elliot Johnston   April 4, 2014  

Brian Cookson (copright Britishcycling.org.uk)

The president of the International Judo Federation (IJF), Marius Vizer, has questioned Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) president Brian Cookson’s handling of the press after the UCI chief suggested moving judo and cycling to the Winter Olympics.

Cookson's comments came in an interview with the BBC, where the UCI president said that the Summer Olympics were “over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports [and] too many competitors” and many indoor sports—including track cycling—would be better served at the Winter Games.

But the IJF president threw Cookson’s idea out of the ring, sarcastically applauding the UCI boss on his sense of humour.

“I have always admired British humour and I can say now that certainly, the UCI president is not lacking it,” Vizer said.

Judo has been included in the Summer Olympic Games since the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan, and after not featuring in 1968, has featured at every Olympiad since.

The Romanian, Vizer, who has been IJF president since 2007, called Cookson’s understanding of the world sports movement into question and offered his services as sensei to the Englishman.

Speaking to the Press Association, Vizer said: “As new President of an International Federation, I wish Mr Cookson good luck and I am available anytime to support him in better understanding the world sports movement and in avoiding press communications at times when he actually does not have any message to transmit.”

Cookson’s comments regarding judo and cycling’s place in the Summer Olympic Games came as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began their review of the Olympic programme.

He said: “If you have a problem with summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not look at moving some of the other sports indoors that traditionally take place in the northern hemisphere winter?

“Let’s think about the Winter Olympics, why does it have to be snow and ice?

“Why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton? You could even say what about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?

“If we moved track cycling to the Winter Olympics and that allowed us to have more track cycling events and more medals, that could be a pretty good outcome.”

9 user comments

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Maybe Vizer has come across badly, but he sounds a lovely bloke. How many of the international sporting federations are populated by power obsessed sociopaths?

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posted by mrmo [1074 posts]
4th April 2014 - 11:07

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If you name check other federations it's no surprise that they respond. The judo fella seems to have a good sense of humour.

posted by Charles_Hunter [73 posts]
4th April 2014 - 11:24

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Cookson was inviting criticism by naming other sports notwithstanding that his question is valid. [Although not without an agenda - I imagine Cookson wants to move track so he can make room for more BMX or move track so he can bring the kilo back.] He would have been better advised to have referred only to "other indoor sports". But judo boss sounds like a puerile c*&£.

posted by surly_by_name [142 posts]
4th April 2014 - 11:45

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Someone's a little touchy! It was only an idea that warrants some thought.

posted by peterben [36 posts]
4th April 2014 - 12:51

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He's right.

posted by northstar [1100 posts]
4th April 2014 - 13:29

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I think it was a brilliant and clever move by Cookson. Name check a few other sports and provoke a response from their respective Presidents and see where they stand.

It may come out that no sport wants to move to the winter Olympics, it may also come out that some sports think that it's a great move for their sport.

Something needs to change for cycling, rather than letting the IOC just dictate to the UCI what changes they want to make he is seeking allies to improve cycling's position.

A brilliant move in my book.

posted by farrell [1404 posts]
4th April 2014 - 13:50

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Again, he's right : )

*grabs some popcorn*

posted by northstar [1100 posts]
4th April 2014 - 16:51

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What have we had recently ? Indoor Track Racing ! World Level Cyclists competing in the same time frame as the Winter Olympics !

How hard is it for people to remember that most of the Ski Racers USE Cycling for Cross Training ?

Since Cookson finds it TOO HARD to support the Idea of an UMBRELLA Org for ALL Cycle Safety Org.s , i have not been too keen to support aNY of his other efforts . However this proposal has enormous MERIT ! Pity about those that think Judo has to be played ONLY in the Summer , wonder what their Winter activities are ? Watching TV ?

Support these Safety Cycling Activities :


Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [383 posts]
5th April 2014 - 22:05

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Did I miss the part where Mr Judo pointed out the flaws in Cookson's proposal?

posted by Ham-planet [89 posts]
15th April 2014 - 4:56

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