They are invisible and discreet. Their mission is to offer the best show possible. Their days and hours of work do not count. They are polite, cheerful and share a mutual passion for judo. They are the men and women behind the scenes.

Of all the members of the staff he is the one that occupies the best armchair. His workspace is a platform located on one side of the enclosure. It is surrounded by colleagues, television screens and computers. He is Matthias Fischer, Lord of the Waves.

At first glance, this German, who lives in Mainz, is a quiet guy. The second impression improves the previous one. Matthias is friendly and polite. And after talking with him, we realize that his brain is a prodigious computer.

The turn of the century was a technological revolution in every way. All the companies in the world and all households had to adapt to the changes that were installed in society at a speed of vertigo. The sports organizations too.

Matthias is a computer expert and heads the IT department of the International Judo Federation. Counted like this, the laymen that we are do not understand the dimension of their mission. Without Matthias, there would simply be no internet during judo tournaments, no images, no signal from the satellite to broadcast the competitions.

The German is a judoka, black belt, and has been working for IJF since 2001. We are talking, without disrespecting anyone, of prehistory.

“You can imagine it,” explains Matthias, “at that time our resources were very limited. We had to learn, and learn quickly”.

His department has grown exponentially. “Before we were two, the tireless Elisabetta Fratini and me. We did everything.” Today they are more numerous, but they also have more things to do.

There is the technological dimension, of course, everything related to transmissions and internet connections. However, before the first fight, much earlier, the IT team is already working. Initially, they are responsible for receiving, compiling and organizing the registrations of the delegations. Then, they organize the competition draw. That means many hours of hard work. And there is the event.

Matthias is not one of those who looks at his belly button, but he is especially proud of the Computer Aided Replay system, CARE. He invented it and it has become an essential work tool. It is the system that allows the referee commission to get pictures, slow motions from as many different angles as possible and as many times as necessary.

Matthias is also not a guy with egocentric problems and, while describing his work, points out to his colleagues, those under his responsibility. "All this, he explains, is the fruit of true teamwork." He does not say it lightly. "Look at them, see how they work, they never stop and they are top-level professionals." Matthias quotes them all, Elisabetta, Saso, Ziad, Corina, Simon, Federico, Lance, and everyone else.

But what do his colleagues say about him? They describe him as someone thorough, always on time, precise, calm and unchanging.

A defect? "It is thorough, always on time, precise, calm and unalterable," Elisabetta and Corina say between laughs. The Italian and the Romanian point laughingly at the difference in temperament. "We are Mediterranean, warm-blooded."

Perhaps that is the key to the team's success. It is a well-dressed salad with many ingredients that correspond to the multitude of nationalities, cultural differences, ways of expressing and working. Matthias is the cook and the final dish is exquisite.

One more day of the judo world championships is coming to an end. It is now time to eat and rest before the next day. Up there, on his platform, will be Matthias, the Lord of the Waves.

See also
Uzbek Apotheosis
Russia Tops the Medal Podium, followed by Uzbekistan and Austria

22. Sep. 2019 / The Tashkent Grand Prix edition 2019 ends with a very ...

Technical Analysis DAY 3
BEING NUMBER ONE IS NO GUARANTEE OF A MEDAL IN TASHKENT

22. Sep. 2019 / Everyday of Tashkent Grand Prix, we propose you the ...

Outside the Mat
The Trumpet

22. Sep. 2019 / Someone once said that without music, life would be ...

Great Day for Uzbekistan
The 2-second Man and Co.

21. Sep. 2019 / It was a great performance from the Uzbek team on home ...

Technical Analysis DAY 2
Cathy Fleury: A Taste of Top Level

21. Sep. 2019 / Everyday of Tashkent Grand Prix, we propose you the ...

Speedy Ippon
2 seconds

21. Sep. 2019 / Experts say judo is magical.

NA ZDOROVJE
High-Flying Judo In Tashkent

20. Sep. 2019 / It is high-flying judo that spectators and tv-viewers ...

Technical Analysis DAY 1
Esther Stam: New faces, New generation

20. Sep. 2019 / Everyday of Tashkent Grand Prix, we propose you the ...

Judo in Schools
A Fresh Wind in Uzbekistan

21. Sep. 2019 / A fresh wind coming from the steppes of Central Asia ...

Azizjon Kamilov
A Man in a Hurry

20. Sep. 2019 / It's nine in the morning, Friday, September 20th.

Tashkent GP
The Age of Reason

19. Sep. 2019 / Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, is preparing to ...

breaking news
Iran Judo Federation Suspended (protective measure)

18. Sep. 2019 / Following what happened during the last World Judo ...

Breaking News
THE TRUE STORY OF A FIGHT FOR LIFE

01. Sep. 2019 / Saeid Mollaei (IRI) and Sagi Muki (ISR) were supposed ...

INTERVIEW EXPRESS
Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

News
5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

VIDEO
Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

Meeting
JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...