Olympic Judo Throws In A Great Personal Development Tip!

August 2nd 2012, and Brit Gemma Gibbons wins a judo silver medal at the London Olympics. So why am I choosing to focus on her boyfriend for this personal development lesson..?

Make no mistake, Gibbons’ medal is a superb achievement, a real and much needed boost to her sport in the country. Like a lot of sports people, her boyfriend is in the same sport, and Scot Euan Watson was looking for a medal himself, but 2 days earlier he was knocked out.

The Great Gordino Goal Achievement

click for Euan Burton's Team GB Profile

His post event TV interview has got lots of attention, because he spoke with brutal honesty rather than glib sound bites. There’s a lesson in that in itself, but it was one thing he said that caught my interest…

It’s fairly normal for a TV interviewer to ask a defeated sports person if they can take any positives. Here’s how Euan replied, with tears bursting to flow –

“I can’t take any positives,” he answered. “I feel like I’ve let myself down a bit. I feel like I’ve let my coaches down, anyone I’ve every trained with. I’ve let my mum, my dad and my brother down.
“I’ve been working for this for over a quarter of a century, so no, there’s no positives to be taken.”

Most sports people do not give that response, which is surprising, because most defeated athletes *will* be feeling like that!

Judo, like all martial arts, is based on a foundation of self examination, respect, integrity, honesty. By answering so honestly, Watson was showing all of those, and here’s the particular thing that got me going…

When asked if he had made a mistake, he answered that he was beaten by a beautiful piece of judo, and that to say he’d made a mistake would be a disservice to his opponent.

How about that for respect, integrity, honesty! No excuses, no blame, just respect, and in fact the respect he showed his opponent with that comment also showed respect for his sport and respect for himself.


I daren’t think how many times over how many years I’ve written about sport showing as clear a light as can be on goal achievement and personal development lessons. Burton’s girlfriend Gemma Gibbons got the sporting glory, a massive Olympic silver medal after years of dedicated work.

Her boyfriend Burton had sporting disaster, after even more years of dedication and work. He looked it in the face, and showed personal traits to be proud of.

Is there anything in your life where you can question your respect, responsibility and integrity – to others yes, but perhaps more importantly, to yourself?

Let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. You can grab my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ for a measly $2.99!
P.P.S. If you fancy using your sports opinions to make money, check out my Make Money From Sport guide.

Do leave a comment!

Leave a Comment


  • It’s hard to be so brutally honest about yourself and your lack of achievement. Of course, from the outside, most people will not feel that they have been let down by Watson, but especially once he owned up to the idea that he was simply beaten by someone performing better than he, they should be proud. Hopefully, in a short while and out of the despair of the moment, he, too, will recognize and be proud of what he has accomplished.

    • Hi Cheri,
      A big part of the beauty of martial arts for people is the honour aspect. Not only will he look back and be proud, he can look back and be proud if the way he handled himself. If only more people had more integrity towards themselves! Cheers, Gordon

    • It reflected himself and his sport so well. So many sports people say ‘I don’t want to blame my injury, but I had an injury’. He wasn’t having any of that, and chose to put positives on his opponent rather than negatives on anything else – it’s whay I love sport! Cheers, Gordon