When we take a closer look at the calendar of world events, we quickly understand the complexity inherent in the proper conduct of competitions. One of the elements of this challenge lies in the diversity of the countries visited by the World Judo Tour. This weekend, we are in Portugal, next week in France and then it will be the turn of Israel, Uzbekistan, Georgia and then Turkey, before the big rendezvous of the World Championships in Doha. We won't be bored.
One of the happy and pleasant consequences of travelling like this is to discover new places or rediscover them each time. Judo remains faithful to its values, the competitions follow one another, the results add up and judo retains its philosophy. Above all, it demonstrates the extent to which it is capable of adapting to all cities, all countries and all cultures. We can therefore, without boasting, affirm that the World Judo Tour is an incredible agent for the promotion of the host countries and that we are happy to play that role.
This week, the world judo caravan has therefore settled in Almada in Portugal, not far from Lisbon. These three names alone, Almada, Lisbon and Portugal, allow us to get an idea of how lucky we are to visit places that are both magnificent and steeped in history. The judo family is happy to be associated with the promotion of history and cultures around the world.
It is impressive to know that in the Neolithic period, about 5000 years ago, the first people started to settle around the Almada area. Then the development of the settlement made a huge step forward with the coming of Islamic civilisation, as a Muslim community constructed a fort at Almada to defend and control the mouth of the Tagus River. Located across the river from Lisbon, Almada was a crossroads for various peoples who traded along the river. This included Phoenicians, Romans and Moors. This weekend, Almada is again at the crossroads of the judo world.
Today, the city of Almada, which is actually divided into two cities, Almada and Costa da Caparica, has a large population. It is bound to the southeast by Seixal, to the south by Sesimbra, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and northeast by the Tagus River, which creates the perfect conditions to enjoy the proximity of Lisbon, as well as the view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Thus the capital city is very close, as there is only one bridge to cross to discover the magnificence of Lisbon. There is no doubt that many delegations and officials will take the opportunity to know more about Portuguese culture and this is also what judo is all about.
If there is a bridge to cross between Almada and Lisbon, judo is a bridge in itself. During three days, we will enjoy the competition and we will enjoy seeing that no matter where you come from, no matter what you do, you are welcome in our judo family and by joining it, you will have a great opportunity to discover the world. If you are present in Portugal, please take the time to visit locally and if not, we are happy to share with you what we see. This is judo, this is our mission: we want to build bridges and open a window to the world.
More images of the Grand Prix Portugal 2023 - CLICK HERE