Westfield's Delpopolo's Olympic Journey Ends Tied for 7th
Nick Delpopolo lost the repechage match that would have advanced him to the bronze medal round.
Westfield's Nick Delpopolo, 23, has finished his first Olympics as a member of the U.S. Olympic Judo Team tied for 7th place.
After winning his first two matches this morning, Delpopolo fell to top-seeded Ki-Chun Wang, of South Korea, a two-time world champ, in overtime at the Excel Center in London.
Delpopolo, ranked number one in the U.S. and 12th in the world, lost the repechage contest to Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia. The winner, in this case Sainjargal, advances to the bronze medal round.
Delpopolo secured his spot on the U.S. Olympic Judo team Saturday, May 12 after a dramatic fight to the finish against long-time rival Mike Eldred at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami. He is among six Americans competing on the U.S. Judo team and is the only one in his 73 kg, 161-lb weight class.
In an email sent to Patch from Delpopolo's mom, Joyce, a Cranford High School history teacher, the Judo champ's proud mom shared her son's thoughts on his first Olympic experience.
"Nick says that living in the Olympic Village and being in the Olympics is like Christmas," Joyce wrote. "He met and had his picture taken with Kobe Bryant and also met Serbian tennis star (Novak) Djokovic."
Delpopolo, who has traveled the world to compete in order to qualify for the Olympic Games, was born in Montenegro, where he spent most of his first two years in a small orphanage. When he was 21 months old, he was adopted by the Delpopolos. The Olympian credits Judo with giving him "strength, speed and flexibility, discipline, integrity and character."
For more on Delpopolo's journey to London, visit the following: