In the 2000 Olympics, Maria Pekli won the bronze medal in the 57kg Judo category. Beijing was to be her last Olympics, but when her son, Erik, was diagnosed with Cystinosis her career was put in doubt. However, family and friends rallied round to support Maria and her family, enabling her to compete again at the 2008 Olympics and we are very pleased to announce Maria came 5th earlier today. Maria won her first two rounds, but was narrowly beaten in both her silver and bronze repechage, placing her 5th in the final standings.
This is the fifth Olympics that Maria has attended and the 36-year-old announced her retirement immediately after this year’s competition in order to concentrate on her family and son, Erik. Maria was also present at the International Conference in Dublin at the end of June earlier this year.
We’d like to congratulate Maria on her inspirational achievement – to have reached the Olympics is a feat in itself. To come so close to a medal is superb!
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