Takata conquers adversity on his road to Beijing

Taylor Takata
Taylor Takata

By Jason Tang bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL)--The road to Beijing was filled with obstacles for Hawaii's own Taylor Takata. He lost his younger sister in a car accident in 2003, and just missed qualifying for the 2004 games in Athens. However, everything Takata's overcome makes him that much stronger for the games in Beijing next month.

The tattoo on his arm says it all. Summer, his sister who died in a car accident almost five years years ago.

"I knew I had to move on with life, you know life for everybody else life didn't stop and as sad as it was and as bad as a thing it was, you just have to move on and pick up the pieces and just to try to deal with it the best that you can, but it was by no means easy," said Takata.

Neither was his decision to continue competing in judo. But he stuck with it because he knew that's what summer would want him to do.

Now for Takata overcoming the adversity makes this Olympic berth that much sweeter.

"It's even more satisfying because I knew it was a long road and I had a lot of things that didn't work out in my favor, but in the end everything worked out," said Takata.

Only one judoka from each division earns a chance at representing the country in the Olympics, and Takata is the representative in the 66 kilogram class.

"Everything is worth it after I accomplished all I set out to do, it's all worth it," said Takata.

But there is one thing that Takata has left to do.

"I want to go and win a gold medal in the Olympics."

Something he wants to accomplish for himself, the people of Hawaii, and his sister.

The judo competition at the Olympics begins on August the 9th, and runs through the 15th. Takata is the first judo player from Hawaii to represent the United States in 12 years.