At 57 years old, Jean-Luc Garcia of the Catalan Judo Club, has just won silver at the Veterans World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
Barely a month in the 66 and already a reputation as a tough guy. In the sphere of departmental judo, the name of Jean-Luc Garcia, a neo-Catalan now based in Bélesta, was not really circulating on the tatami mats. But these last few days in Abu Dhabi, this young retiree snatched second place in the World Championships, dedicated to veterans. And inevitably, in the local dojos, the news spread like wildfire. To rewind this majuscule feat, an appointment is made between the walls of the Judo CClub Catalan, his new playground. Built like a wrestler, cut to the hilt from the trapezius to the toes under his French team tracksuit, the Toulonnais confides modestly. “This second place is a great pleasure. And I have no regrets, because that day, I fell in the final against another French judoka who was stronger than me. I had shot and beaten him before, but this time it was for him. But obviously, a new silver medal, I’m more than happy with it… » The medals in fact, “the little bull” as some judokas call him, are full of medals. Gold and silver medals won at the French and European championships, but not only in judo… Passionate about physical preparation and dietetics, this former sports instructor in the prison environment, above all, has an incredible career of… bodybuilder. A big decade of pushing bars, with a French IFBB champion title on the line. To achieve his goal, Jean-Luc Garcia stuck to a long-established course of action, to a fair choice of priorities.
World champion… bench press
“Between thirty and forty, I put judo aside a little to devote myself to this activity. And since I always liked to train very hard, I also participated in powerlifting competitions. I think I didn’t do too badly.” An understatement. His track record attests to this.
In total, 3 world champion titles at age 34 (among – 75 kg) in Bench Press (bench press) with a load of 240 kilos, then French record holder on 100 kilos with forty row repetitions! From this euphoric period, Jean-Luc Garcia only has excellent memories. Challenges, meetings, trips. But the passion for judo quickly resurfaced, following professional changes. In Marseille, he trains alongside some sacred tatami monsters. Like the French internationals Marc Alexandre or the coach of the French, Richard Melillo. To “perform”, he redoubles his ardor and sacrifices. And to be rewarded last June in Slovenia with a fourth European champion title. Supported by a sponsor for his travels in Europe and elsewhere, the new JCC licensee does not envisage for a single moment stopping on such a good path. “It’s not me who will decide when it will be the end, but my body. For the moment, I feel in great shape and as for a very long time, I train twice a day and six days a week! Sport is my life, competition, my adrenaline. » Next perspective, a small weight loss to “pull” as quickly as possible for those under 60 kg. And win medals again and again. His adrenaline.
#JCC #judoka #JeanLuc #Garcia #veterans #world #vicechampion