Written By Charlie GOLDBERG
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s judo juperstar Sara Golden kicking butt and taking names!
Since the age of 6 Sara Golden has been training and building herself up as one of the most prominent judo competitors on the planet. With her father being a former Judo competitor himself, Sara learned quickly that this sport is literally in her DNA. Sara began training at a local karate center in Chicago, Illinois after seeing her brother wrestle. She said to herself, “Hey, I can do that”.
In middle and high school, Sara continued her progression in judo and even took up wrestling at the same time. At this point in her life, Sara had a busy schedule. This included a full day of classes, followed by two separate practices back to back. Sara even recalls eating most dinners in the car on the way to Judo practice from wrestling practice.
After graduating high school, Sara decided to stop wrestling because she didn’t like the sport as much as she liked Judo. She said, “The main reason I wrestled was to help with my conditioning for Judo.”
Sara now attends Purdue University Online, studying to become a nutritionist. She practices Judo in Sweden with a goal to compete in the Olympic Games at least three times.
While preparing to qualify for the Olympics, Sara found out about the Maccabi games through the experiences of other members in the Judo community and wanted to be a part of the games herself. She elaboratedby saying, “I wanted to learn more about my ancestry and to have the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the games. I would also love to train with the Israeli national team.”
In Judo, there are no inter-gender matchups, yet Sara is currently the only girl on the Team. While this might be a struggle to some this doesn’t phase Sara. In-fact she believes this helps Sara become a bigger asset to the team as a whole. Sara’s coach Adam Moyerman agrees,, “Sara just won senior nationals so her knowledge of the sport helps others learn and improve.”
Sara isn’t impervious to challenging boys. While wrestling she would normally school boys on the mat embarrass their coaches who she says would underestimate her because of her sex. “I’ve had a lot of boys say they don’t wanna wrestle me because they think that if they win they would be embarrassed to beat a girl and that if they lose that would be even more embarrassing,” Noted Golden.
For this years Maccabi games, the United States is lucky to have a teacher, teammate and champion on their squad in Sara Golden.