Aljaž Sedez is one of Slovenia's best judokas. He started competing in 2007 and became a Junior European Champion. In the same year, he also won a gold medal at the Senior World Cup in Budapest, while still a junior, to everyone's surprise.
In the European Championship in 2010, Aljaž injured his right elbow and was forced to step off the tatami for six months of rehabilitation. After a recovery, he won two silver medals in the Grand Prix and qualified for the Olympic Games in London 2012.
Aljaž recently had another terrible injury, and is now coming back, stronger than ever. He started winning european tournaments, but ultimately is looking for support
for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
We had the chance to speak with Aljaž about his journey on the Road To Rio. Take a look at what he had to say:
MAKEACHAMP : Why judo? What's so special about judo that you chose to dedicate yourself to this martial art?
Well at first I wanted to train gymnastics, but we didn't have it at my school, so i decided to try judo. After the first training, I was already addicted to this beautiful sport, and now I can't live without it.
How did it feel to be part of the Slovenian Team at London 2012?
This was an amazing experience. Even though I was injured, I gave my 100% on the competition.
What is your routine at the judo club?
Well, we train twice a day. In the morning training, we have power or technique training, in the afternon we have judo randories (fights). I also teach judo to children twice week.
Do you have any fitness or judo tips you want to share with readers?
The only tip you need if you want to become number one is: never give up!
How do you balance your social life with your judo training?
That's really hard because I don't really have any free time. If I am not training and not too tired, I try to study. I am also a student, because you never know when your career may end.
What song best describe you?
The Rembrants - Ill be there for you! (Friends)
Can you share with us how athletes are supported in Slovenia? Do you have an idea how it could be improved?
Top athlets are employed by Slovenian army or police. I am currently employed in police sport unit. If I didn't have this job, I would probaby be forced to finish my career. This income is big enough to cover my life outside judo club, but not big enough to cover my sport career. The biggest problem in Slovenia is that judo is not well covered by media even though we have very good results, and that makes it almost immposible to find a sponsor.
How important is the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to you? What are you doing to reach this goal?
Rio 2016 is important to me because I would like to have a good result from Olympic games and I will do everything that is in my power to achieve that.