By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
An Oklahoma City police officer is hoping to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Judo team.
Sgt. Brian Picklo was a wrestler in college, but he was sidelined with a knee injury. He took up judo to pass the time and now he's planning on competing in the sport in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The team trials are next month.
"I really didn't have any plans of taking it this far," he said. "I got into if for keeping healthy and staying active and I fell in love with it and started climbing the ladder of success from there."
Picklo said the Japanese martial art was a natural fit.
"A lot of it is psychological preparation," he said. "Some of it is technical. You need to move here, pull here."
Picklo won a bronze medal last month at the United States National Championship.
He is training with Rafael Lovato, Jr., a black belt holder in jujitsu. Lovato is only the second American to win a world championship black belt in the martial arts and he's been training with Picklo for about two years.
"Oh man, he's an animal," Lovato said of his student. "He's kind of like me in the sense that people have to tell him 'take a day off, time to rest a little bit.' We push each other to the limits and that's why we're competing at the highest level in our sports."