Fry Has Eye Set on 2024 Olympics
National Champion, Joziah Fry, is focused on making the 2024 Olympic Judo team.
Fry’s first love was football. Fry was the smallest player on the field, but that didn’t smolder his fierce, competitive heart. Fry’s tenacious nature was evident from the beginning of his athletic career.
“My size never stopped me when I got on the football field,” Fry said to Prime Time Sports Talk. “I just wanted to hit kids.”
One day at football practice, a teammate told Fry he should go out for judo. Fry entered the Mayo Quanchi judo and Wrestling School and met his mentor Sensei Serge Bouyssou. This introduction lead Fry down a path of success that he never imagined.
“Joziah was an amazing athlete and competitor right out of the gate,” Bouyssou said.
For the next few years, Fry worked hard on his judo and started competitions. Bouyssou had been hinting towards Fry starting to wrestle as well. Fry wasn’t interested in starting a second discipline.
“I basically told Joziah that he was coming to wrestling practice tomorrow because it was good for his judo and that’s that,” Bouyssou said
Fry quickly learned to love the sport of wrestling and wanted to pursue it in high school. He moved school districts in grade eight and prepared to pursue his wrestling career. Through all of this Fry was still playing football and having a lot of success in judo.
His freshman year of high school, Fry ran into a speed bump when he broke his collarbone playing football. This delayed his wrestling season as well and had Fry contemplating giving it up altogether.
“My freshman year I came back from my injury and went to a tournament and lost,” Fry said. “I really considered giving up on wrestling.”
Fry never did give up wrestling or judo, but he did say goodbye to football. He was already a judo national champion and wanted to reach the same level in wrestling. The risk of a season ending injury was to much for Fry, his parents and Bouyssou.
“Sansei said, ‘No more football for his own good,'” Fry said.
Fry is now fully devoted to wrestling and judo. Fry won the U.S. Open Judo Championships in 2017 and 2018. Fry is currently ranked number one in the 50-kilogram class.
In 2019 Fry became the first ever U.S. National Champion in Wrestling from the State of Rhode Island. He also took first place in the Reno World Championships. Fry is currently ranked number six in the U.S. at 106-pounds. Fry’s next trip is to the Fargo National Tournament in Fargo, North Dakota.
“If you win Fargo you basically get the number one ranking in the U.S.,” said Fry.
Sansei Bouyssou has been pleased with Fry’s growth as an individual. Bouyssou attributes Fry success to the beliefe in his philospohy that winning is not what they promote at Mayo Quanchi. The overlying culture is mutual welfare and benefit for everyone. All Bouyssou’s students are taught this along with humility.
“Every time Joziah steps on the mat he is the best, but he never thinks he is,” Said Bouyssou
Fry graduates in 2020 and is weighing out options for college. He has been approached to wrestle in the NCAA and to either teach or fight in judo at the college level. Fry is waiting for the right opportunity to come along that is closer to home.
“I really want to go to school close to home so I can keep training with Sensai and tryout for the 2024 Judo Olympic team,” Fry said.