Complete News World

Team USA |  For Para judoka Ben Goodrich, the Parapan Ams flag bearer’s gesture is both “humble” and “exciting” at the same time

Team USA | For Para judoka Ben Goodrich, the Parapan Ams flag bearer’s gesture is both “humble” and “exciting” at the same time

“I think it’s probably better for my body,” Goodrich said. “They took away the weight classes so they could add a secondary division in the vision classification.”

In Santiago, the qualifiers and finals will be held in his class on November 20. He expects Da Silva and the other Brazilians to provide their usual ferocious opposition, and has trained accordingly.

“I’m hoping for a nice early Christmas present,” Goodrich said of a possible medal. “I would say obviously, there’s always room for improvement, there’s always room for improvement, but I feel pretty good. “It gets harder and harder as you get older.”

Judo isn’t the only important aspect of Goodrich’s life these days. He and his wife, Nikolina Bernheim, another Paralympic judoka, live in her native Sweden and are expecting a baby girl in January. He also works as a project leader for the Swedish Judo Federation while pursuing a Master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Gothenburg.

“Everything is going great,” Goodrich said. “I try to do a lot of things when I start transitioning into the real world, I guess, or something after sports, or alongside sports.”

However, Goodrich isn’t quite ready to end his competitive career just yet. He is specifically looking forward to 2028, when the Paralympics will be held in Los Angeles.

“This is in the United States,” he said. “This seems like something I would like to do.

“It’s hard to leave sports. I love sports. It has given me a lot. “I will try to do this for as long as I can.”

If he is able to stay active until the Los Angeles Olympics, it will give his young daughter a chance to see him compete in the Paralympics.

“I hope she enjoys being on the judo mat because I assume we’re going to put her in a little spot at some point over there, just so she can get some exposure to those germs,” Goodrich joked. “I think the little girl is the big thing on my mind. My heart is kind of in two places at the same time.” “I’m constantly thinking about what’s going on back home.”

Working hard on the judo mat has helped him come a long way in the sport, and it looks like he will approach fatherhood with the same commitment and determination.

“You have to learn your way through it,” Goodrich said. “It’s not something you know everything. It’s something you learn along the way. And now we’re just waiting for her big reveal.”