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06 July 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Summer Universiade, Judo

Flying Solo

 

 

GWANGJU - Standing in a sea of red at the Swiss social party David Buechel is the only athlete wearing blue. The judo player from the tiny country of Liechtenstein has been adopted into the Swiss delegation. Buechel is the sole athlete from his country that has a total population of around 35,000 people. “It’s an honor to be here representing Liechtenstein I’m the only one sadly,” said the two-time Swiss judo champion.

Several weeks ago four athletes were getting ready to represent Liechtenstein when three of them suffered injuries right before the Universiade and were unable to compete. Fortunately for Buechel he fit right in with the Swiss delegation, Liechtenstein is right next door to Switzerland. “I am training with them (Swiss team) at a sports center in Switzerland and I am kind of apart of the team even though I am not Swiss.”

Buechel’s father will be watching on television when his son steps up to the mat. His father Magnus Buechel also competed in judo at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles where he placed seventh. Buechel is hoping to follow in his footsteps. “My father is my inspiration, he’s been my coach for 20 years now… my goal is to go to Rio next year to do the same as he did.”

Buechel says his father will be watching online from Liechtenstein.

 

Megan McPhaden (CAN) FISU Young Reporter

 

 

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