RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. men’s judoka Travis Stevens won a historic silver medal Tuesday at Carioca Arena 2 at Barra Olympic Park, one year after not knowing if he would ever compete again.
“It’s hard not to break down in tears after everything that I have been through in life,” Stevens said. “To be able to put it to the grindstone and have my team behind me to this point means more than the world to me.”
Despite losing to Russian gold medalist Khasan Khalmurzaevby ippon (100-point takedown) in Tuesday’s gold-medal match, Stevens’ Olympic result was something to celebrate. He became the first U.S. men’s judo silver medalist in the 81 kg. division after nearly losing his leg last year at the world championships.
“None of the doctors could figure it out,” he said. “We made weight and we fought and came back to the States to find out that if I had made it back a day later, they would’ve have to cut my leg off.”