During the recent Paris Grand Slam 2023, the IJF President, Mr Marius Vizer, presented Mr Lior Raz with the IJF Ambassador diploma. Creator and lead actor of the Netflix series Fauda, Mr Lior Raz was a guest of honour at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam. This offered us the possibility to talk with him and to know more about how he feels being part of it.
Lior Raz and Raz Hershko (ISR) during the women's +78 award ceremony

"The grand slam in Paris was a fantastic event and here in Tel Aviv, for the last two days, I have witnessed a really beautiful grand slam as well, with very good organisation.

Judo in Israel is big and to see the crowd and how they react to the show offered by all the competitors, gives you an idea of what the sport represents in the country.

It is amazing to see that there are millions of people practising judo around the world and for me, being part of that family is something special. It is a huge honour and it gives me the opportunity to meet really incredible people.

Lior Raz and IJF President Marius Vizer

What I admire the most in judo are courage, honour, freedom, peace, unity and respect for each other, while judoka remain fighters. I believe that the values carried by judo can help build a better society.

As an ambassador I want to help the growth of judo in order to bring people together, people with different origins, different perspectives and opinions. As I said, I believe that judo can help bring the world together. We can use 'fighting' techniques and approaches to bring peace.

My children are practising judo and they love it. My son, after watching the grand slam here, already told me that he wants to be the next champion.

Lior Raz and Israeli Judo Association President, Moshe Ponti

I can say that I have already created a strong bond with the Israeli national team. In Paris I could congratulate Peter Paltchik after his medal. I must say that I was impressed to see how strong he is. It's really like a family.

In my films we use a lot of combat sport techniques, so maybe next time, we can feature judo, but once again, I truly believe that judo can bring something to society and that is what matters."

Being a judo ambassador is not just a title, it is a way to promote judo and its values on the five continents. There is no doubt that Lior Raz is the man of the moment and that he will keep promoting our sport, because yes, judo is a fantastic tool to bring peace and unity, beyond all differences.

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