The latest Judo News offered by

Retired Yarden Gerbi learned the spirit of survival

26 Sep 2020 14:05

 Nicolas Messner - IJF    Oliver Sellner

2013 World Champion and 2016 Olympic medallist Yarden Gerbi competed at Israelian TV show Survivor. It’s a world wide TV format where also other judoka competed all around the world. Surviving on an Island for two months is tough. Being 100% disconnected Gerbi realized what is most valuable for her.

Nicolas Messner of the IJF asked her how Judo helped her during those two months battling, sometimes without food, 100% without friends and family and with the will to win.

Yarden: Judo prepared me for everything. I was ok without eating, as I knew the feeling from dieting during my judo career. I lost 8 kg on the island and I lost a lot of muscle. Also to sleep on the sand with bugs and crabs was ok, because I got used to it and knew it was part of the show, but I did really miss my close people. I was denying in my mind the fact that I missed them but that was the most difficult part.

IJF: You often mention that judo helped you a lot during the adventure. How? Why?

Yarden: Judo taught me to respect everyone, no matter who they are and where they are coming from. I never spoke badly or shouted. Also it was ok for me to deal with the conditions with regard to food and sleep. I was dealing with harder situations in judo during my career, like stress, hard training and pressure. I believe that nothing is more difficult than the road to an Olympic medal in judo. During the game we also had missions to complete and the mental resilience required within competitive judo helped me a lot. I stayed 3 hours and 17 minutes on a stick that turns and won that mission. At the end I was competing against my best friend in the show, a fighter in the army and I won. There is nothing I can’t do or can’t win and it all comes from judo; the confidence and power. You know, another important point is that I started judo when I was 6 years old, with Shany Hershko, my coach, until I retired at the age of 28. I never changed coach. During the show, I was always loyal to my friends, from the beginning until the end. In this kind of TV programme, it’s very difficult to keep loyalty. I’m happy I proved it’s possible.

IJF: What are the main values that helped you to overcome all the difficulties?

Yarden: Again, I think there is nothing more difficult than the road to an Olympic medal, so I know, in each part of my body, I’ve been through the most difficult situations already, so survivor could never break me. The most emotional moment was when my father came to the island

Read the full story at the IJF website.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Yarden Gerbi (ISR) - Grand Prix The Hague (2017, NED) - ©, judo news, results and photos
  • Yarden Gerbi (ISR),  POLITENESS (IJF) - 2016 Olympic Games day 4 Judo U81kg & U63kg (2016, BRA) - © JudoHeroes
  • Yarden Gerbi (ISR) - 2016 Olympic Games day 4 Judo U81kg & U63kg (2016, BRA) - © JudoHeroes

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Judo brand Fighting Films celebrates 30 Years

24 Jan 2018 10:25

2018 marks the 30th Anniversary of Fighting Films and it’s a proud milestone. Fighting Films is a renowned name throughout the world of Judo, it may surprise you to know that this leading producer and supplier of Judo videos are in fact a small family run company. Based in Bristol, UK, they were founded by Simon Hicks, a black belt and second-generation judoka and a legend in his work. Read more


Israel’s first World Champion Yarden Gerbi continues to inspire

22 Nov 2017 10:30

Israel’s first world judo champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Yarden Gerbi of Israel was in The Hague to deliver a masterclass on Saturday and Sunday. The 28-year-old retired in October but was back on the mat in the Netherlands to teach local children some new skills and to share her remarkable story. Read more


Yarden Gerbi shocks with immediate retirement

1 Oct 2017 20:40

Only a year after winning a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi, 28, announced her her retirement on Monday morning during a press conference where she thanked all coaches, federation, friends and family for the years she had on the tatami. Read more

20160809_Rio2016_IJF_63_GERBI, Yarden (ISR) - TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)4

Yarden Gerbi auctioned her Olympic backpatch for 52,100 dollars

29 Aug 2016 14:55

Yarden Gerbi, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 63-kg judo competition in Rio, said she will donate the proceeds to a Tel Aviv hospital. Israeli Olympic bronze medalist, judoka Yarden Gerbi, has auctioned off her name patch from the recent games in Rio for a whopping $52,100. The winning bid was placed by a so-far unidentified bidder on Sunday before the online auction closed on Monday. Read more

20160809_JudoHeroes_Yarden Gerbi

Israel is in love with judo after another Olympic success

23 Aug 2016 09:05

Israel won just two medals at the Olympic Games over all sports, which is actually better than average. With Yarden Gerbi taking bronze in the women’s U63kg division and Or Sasson doing the same in the men’s +100kg Judo contributed heavily in the Olympic history. Gerbi has offered her name patch for sale on eBay for charity, and agreed to autograph it with a dedication to the buyer. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description