Nick Delpopolo

Country: USA
Sport: Judo
Date of Birth: 02/08/1989
First Olympics: 2012, London

Nick Delpopolo made headlines at his first Olympic appearance in 2012, but not for winning a medal. Instead, Delpopolo was sent home from London after testing positive for marijuana following his competition, with the lightweight (73kg/161 lbs) stating that he ingested the drug unintentionally. He would have placed seventh in the tournament had he not been disqualified. Delpopolo has since tried to put the incident behind him, with an eye always toward returning to the Olympics in Rio. Born in Serbia and Montenegro, Delpopolo spent the early part of his life in an orphanage until he was adopted by a couple from New Jersey and brought to the United States. He began taking judo classes at age 5 and while the sport became his passion, he eventually focused on wrestling. His judo skills made him a dominant wrestler in high school, but after he tore nearly every ligament in his knee during a practice, he had to have reconstructive surgery that ended his career. Delpopolo then switched back to judo and despite the layoff from the sport, began to climb the national ranks all the way to reaching the Olympics.

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