Clarksville, TN – APSU junior Brinna Lavelle earned a bronze medal in judo for Team USA on July 23rd, 2018 at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) America Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Paulina Lizabeth Martinez of Mexico won gold, and Judith Gonzalez Jaque of Chile won silver. They competed in the 52-kilogram weight class.
Lavelle trains six days a week. She runs and lifts weights. She fights. And she travels on weekends to faraway cities like Chicago and Miami to train with Olympians and judo sensei.
But she’s also a full-time junior at Austin Peay, majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine.
“We’ll drive to Miami,” dad David Lavelle said. “She’ll train. We’ll drive back and get back here by 8 o’clock Monday morning, and by 9:30 she’s back in class. She works really hard.”
And that’s where Brinna’s attitude shines, and how it has lifted her to Team USA and to the International University Sports Federation (FISU) America Games in Sao Paulo.
“If I want something, I really have to work for it,” she said, her smile bolstering the truth in the statement.
Brinna, 20, has been working hard at judo since she was 3, after her military dad settled the family in Clarksville. She started competing nationally and internationally when she was 12.
“My dad originally made me do judo when I was little to defend myself because he knew I’d be small,” she said. “And I didn’t want to do it, but I’ve come to love it ever since the first couple of classes.
“I’ve done it all my life. It’s all I’ve ever known. I love it.”
Brinna’s gofundme.com page
Brinna isn’t far from her $5,000 gofundme.com goal to pay for the trip. You can help her by donating at www.gofundme.com/brinna039s-america-games-judo-trip