Rihari is a 17-year-old student of School of Isolated Distance Learning (SIDE) representing New Zealand at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

How did you get into your sport? Through Rugby League, playing U8 & U10 for Marlins & Otara in South Auckland. Most of the kids we played were twice my size and strength so my parents wanted me to learn to how to roll, fall and protect my head through Martial Arts. They organised a visit to Howick Judo Club and my judo life began.

What do you love about the sport? The comradery, discipline, physical and mental challenges that come with Judo. I love the constant learning and techniques used, that push my body and mind to react in unexpected situations. It teaches me humility, how to be a graceful loser and how to come back a winner!

What inspires you? Family. My dad, he keeps me real, grounded and reminds me to never forget who I am. My mum, my rock! She picks me up when I'm down, encourages me to respect myself and to keep going, don't give up. My little brother, he inspires me to be creative, to use my imagination and prompts me to keep trying.
What are you hoping to get out of the Youth Olympic Games: A lifetime of lessons to carry me through life and help prepare me for 2024 Olympic Games!

Career highlight: Throughout the year I've trained in Japan and competed in Hong Kong, Macau, Noumea and Australia to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. I'm currently ranked in the top 10 on the world ranking table and added to my medal portfolio 7 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze in U18 & U21 Oceania Championships & International Tournaments. Being the national champion for U81kgs in both New Zealand and Australia is a highlight so far.

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Rihari's Games History

  • Olympic Summer Youth Games Buenos Aires 2018

    • Judo (under 81kg - Men)
      Repechage Round of 4 0-10
      Repechage Second Round of 8 10-0
      Elimination Round 16 0-10
      Placed 7 of 12
    • Judo (Continental Team Competition - Mixed)
      Team Quarter Final - Men -81kg 1-1
      Quarter Final (Team Nanjing) 3-4
      Placed 5 of 13