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How Roy Meyer developed the will to win
6 Nov 2019 14:40
At the Grand Slam of Abu Dhabi Dutch character judoka Roy Meyer captured his first Grand Slam gold medal. Following up another success after his bronze medal at the World Championships in Tokyo, the small Giant showcased his ambitions on the mat and he shared his remarkable celebrations just after his victory with the (home)crowd.
The IJF spoke with Mr. Charisma just after his victory and Meyer was open about his way to the top.
Meyer: “As of last year, I’m really working at being comfortable outside of my comfort zone. I’m taking extra training sessions, like ice-baths for 40 minutes, and running in freezers at -21c. Just to be there, to have that attitude and when I’m there then nothing will phase me and surprise me in competition and training sessions. It’s fun, everything is fun, don’t make it heavy.
Meyer: “I grew up in a troubled home. My parents were fighting a lot. Financial troubles. I had a lot of energy as a small child and that in combination with all the fighting and all the stress at home, that resulted in a lot of trouble, in society, in school, everywhere. So at a certain point I wasn’t able to live at home any longer, so when I was 10 years of age I had to move from home, I spent about 7 years outside of my home, without parents, in places, with groups. There were even three years where I had to live in juvenile prisons because there wasn’t enough space in the normal places. As a teenage guy, I was living in that environment, and at a certain point I was like “no man, I can’t live this life” And at that point I decided I would move out from there, of that situation. I told the people there the psychologists, behavior experts that I would be moving out from there in 6 months and they started laughing, because they were like “Roy, where do you get that silly idea from? You’re not leaving here any time soon” And I was like “ok,ok” And 6 months later I came in front of the Juvenile judge, so he smacked the dossier on the desk with a very big smile, he said “Roy, I only encountered maybe 2 or 3 boys that make a 180 degree change and I’m really happy to give you chance to try again. And I was hungry to build a life, to build a home, to build a family and to build a future that was worth living. And I started doing judo again, I picked it up and I knew this is not going to be the boast that I would survive on, it’s going to be the boat that I would thrive on.“
Coached by Jean-Paul Bell
Meyer: “The moment I go on the mat, my coach Jean-Paul Bell, he taught me three words, Aggression. Intent. And Focus. Before I walk onto the mat there are only three words in my mind. There are goosebumps climbing up my spine. My brain is exploding with the chance to fight. That feeling, some people may like to bungee jump to feel alive but when I’m in a tournament, when I’m able to really fight and give it my all, man I feel happy.“
Will to win
Meyer: “It may not look like it when I’m walking towards the mat, towards the tatami or when I’m fighting on the mat because you can see the fire in my eyes, the passion and the will to win. But I really respect my opponents. And even after the fight, I really like to fight them, I always have a good word for them, and that they are strong opponents, and I really believe that also. Judo is a family and I really like it, I really like that.”
The interview was also broadcasted by Eurosport, one of the broadcasting partners of the IJF.
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