Hamburg, 06/28/2018 | Story | Company How to become a Champion

At Olympus we are very proud of our employees. Every one of them supports us daily in reaching our purpose “making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilled”. But apart from their work at Olympus, our employees have exciting stories to tell. Today, we are reporting about Pierre Kasten, Sales Manager at Olympus in Switzerland, who became judo world champion in October 2017.

Employee Stories
  • Share:
Judo Weltmeister

Piere Kastens, judo world champion, during the award ceremony

Sporting highlight: The Veterans World Judo Championships

The World Championships take place annually in different locations around the world. Last year, Olbia in Sardinia hosted the competition, which had 1300 entrants from five continents and 46 nations. Among them was Pierre Kasten, who ultimately brought home the winning trophy.

Practitioners of judo are known as judokas. The Veterans World Judo Championships is the highlight of the year for judokas in the over-30 age category.

Only those with a dan grade, the level of judo mastery where the black belt is awarded, are eligible to enter. In addition to medal-winners from world and European championships, entrants are nominated from national associations, such as the German Judo Federation.

About Pierre Kasten and his love of judo

Pierre Kasten joined Olympus as a sales representative back in 1996. He has remained loyal to Olympus – as he has to judo – over the years, and has worked in sales of our urology products since 2011.

"I have loved judo since I was eight. I went to sport school in Leipzig from 1974 to 1986 and have won a lot of national and international competitions. I fought in the first and second federal judo leagues in Germany up until 2005."

For Pierre, what makes judo special is "having the motivation to stay fit in every way – judo includes technique, strength, stamina, and coordination. And so it's always a real challenge. This is particularly the case for the Veterans World Judo Championships, because the standard is so high in this competition. Most entrants are from the military, the police, or the security services, or even run their own martial arts school."

The competition went like this...

Pierre had to prove himself in four contests in total. This was no problem for him: he ended three of the fights quickly with an ippon. In judo, an ippon means an immediate win for the judoka and is the highest possible score. It is awarded, for example, if the opponent is pinned for at least 20 seconds. In the second contest, he fought against last year's world champion from Russia. But Pierre won that too in extra time with a half point, known as a waza-ari. These are awarded if the opponent is pinned for at least 15 seconds.

The award ceremony of Pierre Kasten

Pierre does not plan to rest on his laurels after his win, however: he wants to continue entering competitions in the future, as long as his vacation entitlement, health, and fitness permit it.