2 X Olympian
18 X National Judo Champion
World Military Champion
Black Belt Hall of Famer
His peers in international judo dubbed him “The Giant Killer,” a
nickname Leo White – a Monterey Peninsula native -earned the
hard way. He is a 2 time Olympian and 18 time National Champion.
He has won 4 World Military championships, numerous All-Army U.S. Championships and All-Military U.S. Championships, and is one the most decorated Judo Athletes in the United States. His highly competitive career began at the age of 9 in a judo and jujitsu club in his hometown of Monterey Peninsula. His competitions have taken him all over the world from China to Russia to Italy to Japan and much, much more. His achievements have taken him to the White House with the Olympic Teams and earned accolades such as the Titan Award, the Olympia Award, Military Athlete of the year and even a Sullivan Award nomination. In addition to his participation as an Olympian (1984 and 1992), Leo has also been a part of the 1996 and 2008 Olympic Teams as Athlete Advisory Council and Team Manager/Coach. Leo has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic
Committee and as member of the Board of Directors of USA Judo.
Leo grew up as an “army brat” and lived throughout the country and the world before completing his formative education. After graduating college he entered the United States Army as a second lieutenant and continued to excel in judo. As a military officer and judoka, Leo distinctions were incompatible; World Military Championships and CISM 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1987 and he won the U.S. Open five times plus gold, two silvers and four bronzes in multiple Pan American Games and Championships.
During his distinguished military career Leo White received the covenant U.S. Military Athlete of the Year Award. He served with honor as a Company Commander, Executive Officer, Battalion Officer with tours of duty domestically and internationally, including the DMZ in Korea. Leo proudly and heroically served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, the 4th Infantry Division in Colorado and the 7th Group Operations in Virginia.
Leo made his NBC Judo Commentator debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and returned at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Leo has leveraged the wisdom he gained during his years of competition to help the next generation of judo athletes and continue to contribute to the sport. He was an Athletes Advisory Council representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee during 1992-1994 and 1996-2000, and the Coach/Team Leader of the U.S. Judo team in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, China.
From Training to Teaching
Leo continues to share his intricate knowledge of judo and love of the sport. He is a High Performance Coaching Director in USA Judo, and a USA Judo Certified Coach – International Gold. During the past 22 years he has volunteered his services as instructor at a Boys and Girls club in Atlanta, Georgia. He has developed the next generation of national and international players, who are now themselves Olympic hopefuls. He operates his own dojo in the Atlanta area, where he is a personal trainer to many MMA professionals.
back and better
Leo’s sees his life as a blessing, and he continues to “pay it forward” by sharing his gift to create the next generation of Olympic medalists, or simply teach young and old how to use martial arts to improve their lives. Joining the Veterans Benefits U.S. was a natural fit for Leo, a logical “next step” that allows him to help raise awareness of veterans benefits among U.S. veterans. He has first hand knowledge of the need to understand and manage health risks because of his experiences managing the numerous injuries as a result of his chosen sport, as well as witnessing his parents’ illnesses. He understands the plight of veterans: he is one. He has fought back against what others might have considered debilitating injuries, and currently appears to be in peak physical condition. Hey says that he owes a lot to Dr. Ricky Tubbs, for his traditional and non-traditional pain management remedies and nutrition lifestyle for said pain management and overall mental and physical wellness. His determination to persevere in the face of obstacles and to enjoy life’s everyday pleasures speaks volumes about his attitude.
Leo shares his story of mental and physical conditioning, perseverance, and living life fully to groups of varying ages. Speaking topics include:
Life after Prescription Meds: Back and Better
How I engaged an expert in Diet and Wellness to create a new post-competition level of health and quality of life
· From Training to Teaching: How I Restructured my Pain Management
Overcoming Resistance to Change: Inspired by Life
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