Gella Vandecaveye is a judoka from Belgium who competed at four Olympic Games. She was born on 5 June 1973 in Kortrijk, Belgium. At the 1996 Summer Olympics she won the silver medal in the women’s half-middleweight category. Four years later, at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, she captured a second medal: a bronze one in the same category. She became World Champion in 1993 and 2001 and was European champion seven times in the 1994-2001 period.
She begun judo with judo club Zwevegem at the age of eight. At the age of fifteen, she moved to Judo Club Jenos Kwai Hooglede under the guidance of her trainer. She made her first world title in Canadian Hamilton, and successfully combined top-class sport and senior communication management studies.
Five months after breaking her neck, she became European Champion again and won a second Olympic medal, and became world champion for the second time in 2001. She ended her career at the age of 31, at the Olympic Games in Athens, but she lost.
In 2005, She gave her career a new impulse by going to car racing, she also wanted to experience the possibility of breaking a car with a car through a desert with a human being. In January 2006 Gella, she drove along during Paris-Dakar 2006. In 2008 she became the winner of the VRT program Eeuwige Roem .
After the sport, she reoriented herself as an independent entrepreneur in the ‘PR & Sport Consulting’, focusing on companies, the non-profit sector and sports for all. She provides or offers promotional campaigns, judo-initiations and demonstrations, travel performances, PR activities, team building, lectures and incentives. She was named “1999 European Judoka of the Year”.
Gella Vandecaveye Weight And Height
Height: 5-6.5 (170 cm)
Weight: 139 lbs (63 kg)
Gella Vandecaveye Honor Roll
- Olympic Games: silver (1996), bronze (2000)
- World Championships: 2x gold (1993 and 2001), 2x silver (1997 and 1999), bronze (1995)
- European championships: 7x gold (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), 2x silver (1993 and 2003), 2x bronze (1995 and 2002)
- Belgian championships: 23x gold of which 14 x at the seniors
- International tournaments: 8x gold, 6x bronze
- Sportswoman of the year: 1993 and 1997 (7x nominated)
- Flemish Giant: 1993
- European Judoka of the Year: 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001
- Trophy of Sports Merit: 1999
- Sports Personality of the Year: 2000
- Sport Example of the Year: 2002
- Grand Officer in the Leopold Order: 2003
- Life Time Achievement Award: 2004
- IJF Hall of Fame: 2015
Gella Vandecaveye Results
|1992 Summer||19||Barcelona||Judo||Women’s Half-Middleweight||Belgium||BEL||9T|
|1996 Summer||23||Atlanta||Judo||Women’s Half-Middleweight||Belgium||BEL||2||Silver|
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Women’s Half-Middleweight||Belgium||BEL||3T||Bronze|
|2004 Summer||31||Athina||Judo||Women’s Half-Middleweight||Belgium||BEL||AC|
Gella Vandecaveye Women’s Half-Middleweight
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Belgium||BEL||Semi-Finals||Match #1||2||2000-09-19||Li (CHN) Hantei/Yusei-gachi (4:00), Vandecaveye (BEL)||0||0||0||0|
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Belgium||BEL||Quarter-Finals||Match #2||1||2000-09-19||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Ushiro-kesa-gatame (2:46), Ji (PRK)||1||0||0||0|
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Belgium||BEL||RepÃªchage||Match #1||1||2000-09-19||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Seukui-nage (0:42), Artamonova (KGZ)||1||1||0||0|
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Belgium||BEL||RepÃªchage||Match #3||1||2000-09-19||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Yoko-shiho-gatame (2:38), Ishii (BRA)||1||0||0||0|
|2000 Summer||27||Sydney||Judo||Belgium||BEL||RepÃªchage||Match 3/4||1||2000-09-19||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Yoko-shiho-gatame (3:07), von Rekowski (GER)||1||0||2||0|
|2004 Summer||31||Athina||Judo||Belgium||BEL||Semi-Finals||Match #2||2||2004-08-17||Å½olnir (SLO) Ippon/Sukui-nage (2:18), Vandecaveye (BEL)||0||0||0||1||1|
|2004 Summer||31||Athina||Judo||Belgium||BEL||Quarter-Finals||Match #4||1||2004-08-17||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Kusure-kami-shiho-gatame (3:22), Tabasi (GRE)||1||0||2||0|
|2004 Summer||31||Athina||Judo||Belgium||BEL||Round One||Match #3||1||2004-08-17||Vandecaveye (BEL) Ippon/Sukui-nage (0:44), Ishii (BRA)||1||0||0||0|
|2004 Summer||31||Athina||Judo||Belgium||BEL||RepÃªchage||Match #3||2||2004-08-17||GonzÃ¡lez (CUB) Ippon/Yoko-shiho-gatame (0:35), Vandecaveye (BEL)||0||0||0||0|
Gella Vandecaveye Partner
Gella Vandecaveye suffered from gluttony for years
‘The red line in my career is undoubtedly the fight against the scale. When I was fourteen, I was confronted for the first time: my first race, in the category up to 43 kilograms. In the beginning you develop and grow. I then jumped to a higher category twice a year. The first problems arose when I turned double for a year: in the juniors I was in -56 kilograms, with the seniors in -61 kilograms. For the one tournament I had to train, for the other there were kilos. That is asking for misery. ‘
‘If I had known then what I know now, I would never have finished. You are young, in full development, you are not so wise about it yet. You become a yo-yo. First diets and then compensate. After every game you want to overtake your damage; you eat extensively and you eat too much. I also come from a family of burgundians, we enjoy fine dining, and I sometimes let myself go. Stupid, of course, because later more kilos had to be sold. ‘
‘I tried to avoid a crash diet. If I had to lose five kilograms, I started five weeks in advance. One kilogram per week, with the classic method: less food, fewer sugars, no fats. And extra vitamins. You starve does not make sense, it only costs forces. We invented the craziest things to ease the pain, but it was really difficult. Especially in the last days, you only lost moisture. Your eyes were therefore very deep. I remember well: I once smeared a sandwich with cheese, radishes and chives. I walked to the living room with my plate, but kept hanging on the door handle with the sleeves of my Japanese nightgown. There went my feast, on the carpet, and of course with the smeared side down. I could eat one slice of bread, and there it was. ”
‘That way you have to lose weight, that really eats away from you, it is especially mentally debilitating. Losing weight was much more difficult for me than training. You also become irritable, your environment must pay for it. I will not have been a pleasant person then. Actually, Heidi Goossens taught me to lose weight. She was much more extreme, because she had to hit under 52 kilograms – she was really skin-bone. One day before the game, Heidi and I always walked, wearing a rain jacket to lose as much moisture as possible. I wanted to sit 300 grams under my competition weight the night before a match, so I could drink something and eat a plate of spaghetti with butter and sugar. Everyone was disgusted by that combination, but if you have not eaten anything properly for weeks, it tastes great. After dinner I was sitting 200 grams above my weight, but I knew: I’ll sleep that off. The last day before the match, I was sometimes on the scales five times. ”
“Another method to lose weight quickly is a hot bath. Even though it was a temporary solution, because it is not that pleasant. You have a red head, you feel weak and dizzy, but it worked. You could lose up to one and a half kilos, of course pure moisture. ”
Gella Vandecaveye video
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