“I’m born and raised in Monaco, but I had my training in France, in nearby Nice and at the INSEP (the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance),” the judoka explains.
“The difficulties you encounter if you are an athlete from a small country like Monaco, is having a bit of an inferiority complex in comparison with other bigger countries. True, we are the first to fear it’s going to be a tough bout when we notice the country code for Russia or Japan on the back of our adversary’s judogi,” he jokes. “And to be honest when my opponents notice the code ‘MON’ on my back, they will probably think the opposite, although it’s sometimes not always the outcome they expect,” he smiles.
A veteran of nine years on the World Judo Tour as well as a participant in six IJF World Championships and three Olympics, Yann Siccardi has some sound advice for youngsters transitioning towards the World Circuit. “You have to love what you do. Every day. Personally, I have a lot of fun when I go to my daily practice or at every training camp, I participate in. It’s essential. I opine that’s the most important. Good results or medals will follow afterwards. Imperative to me is noticing I still progress after all these years, technically and tactically. I’m confident that while you still notice such progress you continue to have fun on the tatami. And that’s what counts for me. The day there is no progress anymore or I can’t take pleasure in practice any longer, will be the day I retire from competition,” the 33-year old veteran ends.