Day: July 21, 2021

This Olympics medal contender ‘kicks people in the head for a living’

Jack Woolley is the first Irish taekwondo Olympian. | Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Jack Woolley is Ireland’s first taekwondo Olympian and he hopes to make his nation proud. Jack Woolley’s Olympics will be over only hours after the Opening Ceremony, and the Irish taekwondo athlete thinks the bang-bang nature of the competition gives him an advantage.
“I’m so used to this,” he told an Irish website. “Even some of the competitions in Europe we’d sometimes fly in on the day of weigh-in, fight and then come home the day after. … It’s get in, do the business and leave.”
Woolley, who came out in 2016, is Ireland’s first Olympic taekwondo athlete and he has a legitimate medal chance. He is one of 16 athletes in the under-58kg class of taekwondo and the competitions begins and ends Saturday in Tokyo (if he makes the medal round, it would be held around 8 a.m. Saturday EDT).
The 22-year-old says he “kicks people in the head for a living,” something he does quite well. At 5-11, he can weigh no more than 127 pounds, so he is lean and lithe while admitting it’s tough to cut weight to be under the limit.

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Jack Woolley has a serious medal chance.

Taekwondo is dominated by South Korea and Jun Jang is the gold medal favorite. But Woolley is confident as he enters the competition, fresh off a gold medal performance at the Mexico Open Taekwondo Tournament.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever being in,” he said. “I think I’m better than before I was injured. I’m feeling very positive and I’m going into this now feeling confident because I think only two of the 16 competitors in my division are coming off gold medal performances and I’m luckily one of them. So I’m in a good position now.”
You can follow Woolley on Instagram.
Getty Images took some great portraits of Woolley:

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images Outsports – All Posts Read More

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Olympic judoka Alice Bellandi pens heartfelt tributes to her partner

Alice Bellandi professes her love to her partner in beautiful prose. | Instagram

“You are my victory, my starting point for each day that ends,” writes Italian Olympian Alice Bellandi to her partner. Alice Bellandi is representing Italy in Olympic women’s judo.
It means that over the next two weeks, you’ll witness her sweeping the leg, throwing her opponent, and displaying the tenacity required of an expert martial artist.
But when you witness her Instagram odes to her partner, you’ll quickly understand that underneath that tough exterior lies the heart of a romantic to rival Shelley, Keats, or, at the very least, Dolly Parton.
The 2018 Junior World Champion and 2019 Judo Grand Prix silver medalist took to social media this spring and posted a pair of heartfelt tributes to her partner Chiara Verger. In April, Bellandi composed this as the two embraced on the waterfront:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alice Bellandi (@bellandialice)

The Italian text reads:
“You changed my life, upset my priorities, fixed my dreams.You taught me so much, you let us switch roles, you licked my wounds as if they were yours.You are my victory, my starting point for each day that ends.”
It’s rare that Google translates beautifully in poetry.
Rarer still when that poetry is written by someone trained to trap her opponent in an ankle lock. But Bellandi’s text is almost breathtaking in its emotional honesty and vulnerability.
A month later, Bellandi posted a candid romantic close-up of her and Verger:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alice Bellandi (@bellandialice)

This caption translates to:
“Maybe because in your eyes I can see the future.I feel like giving you everything I haven’t dreamed of yet.This is my primary desire: to be enlightened of you.Everything else is made up of bad stars.You are precious, and to me that means more than just telling you that you are beautiful.It means you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
That’s what we all wish our wedding vows sounded like. Absolutely perfect.
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Furthermore, just last month, the Vatican attempted to interfere with a proposed law expanding anti-discrimination protections to the Italian LGBTQ community.
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