CORDILLERA judokas are all gearing for this year's much awaited 2013 Dino-Soliba Memorial Judo Tournament to be held at the Philippine Military Academy's Jurado Hall which formally opens today.
Judo athletes from Manila and other provinces had already signified their intent in joining the said tournament according to tournament director Wilfredo Dino.
Expected to join are teams from Stanley Judo Club in Manila and other schools in the metro, while the team from Davao are still on the confirmation list.
The tournament was conceived to give honor to Baguio's two legendary judo athletes who gave the City honor and pride during their reign in the mat, Jerry C. Dino and Philippine Army Lt.Charles Soliba.
Dino represented the country in two Olympic Games, in the 1998 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympic games under the Men's -60 kg category.
He dominated the Southeast Asian Games winning the Gold and was on the top six of the Asian games that gave him a ticket to join the two Olympics. He went on to coach the next batch of Philippine team members after the Barcelona experience before fully concentrating on his business.
Charles Soliba, was then a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy under coach Wilfredo Dino, after leaving RP judo coaching chores to his younger brother Jerry.
Soliba, under the tutelage and strict training regimen of coach Willy demolished some of the big names in the RP team roster and went on to claim the gold in the National games.
Returning back at the Academy, Soliba recieved an award for his feat in the field of Judo. Joining the army after graduation, Soliba was killed in action when ambushed by insurgents during a routine patrol. But the name Soliba became a legend in Judo as the man who beat up highly rated black belts and became the first white belt to do in the sport of Judo.
Jerry Dino died from heart failure a few years after, when he experienced chest pains after playing with the SEA games bound RP squad and succumb at the hospital of cardiac arrest.
His long time compatriot, John Baylon then honored him by winning the medal during the SEAG.
The Cordillera Judo Association led by its president Vonne B. Villanueva is continuing to support the sport through coordinating and conducting tournaments at the grassroots level aiming to reintroduce the sport of judo.
"Some of these aspiring kids maybe the next in line for the Olympics, let us give back to them the sport we believe could give us gold in the future international competitions," Villanueva said.
The CJA is moving on to make the next batch of judokas at par with the likes their predecessors who made Baguio City a landmark for judo as a premier training ground.