Hometown Hero: Team USA Judo’s Travis Stevens

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (WHDH) - Travis Stevens earned his first Olympic medal in Rio de Janeiro and credits his trainers in Wakefield for helping him succeed.

Stevens, who is from Tacoma, Washington, was introduced to judo when he was 7 years ago. Stevens said he got into the sport by accident, checking the wrong box off on a youth center signup form. His first Olympics was in Beijing in 2008, when he came in nith place. At London in 2012, he finished fifth. Hoping to earn his first medal in Rio, Stevens made changes to his training, hoping it would pay off.

“I feel more confident heading into this Olympics than I have for any other one,” Stevens told 7’s Nancy Chen before he headed to Rio.

Stevens has trained all over the world and now trains at Jimmy Pedro’s in Wakefield, where teammate Kayla Harrison also trains.

“If it wasn’t for the training partners and the staff, I wouldn’t be here,” said Stevens.

Stevens will now be heading home with a silver medal, the first-ever United States medal for the 81kg division in men’s judo.

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