The Downside Of a Medal

Rosa och InaRose-Marie Tell is now a steady supporter of Fargelanda Judo club. Through the years she both had the time to train, compete very well and been a youth coach in a group which includes when Eleonor Borg-Hansen started with judo. Even a comeback in recent years, when she again boarded the competition mat. Here she talks about her journey both the success but also the feeling of  never being really satisfied.

“I started in Fargelanda Judo Club in 1984 when I was 7 years old and Judo is a big part of my life. Rose-Marie Tell’s she who was so good in Judo. Even today, some children from the club comes forward and say that they have heard of me, their parents know me, it was you who won the swedish championships they say.One boy once said, “I will never be as good as you” . What they do not know is that I never felt that I was so good. My self-esteem should have been huge in terms of judo, but it was not.

The first few years we were a great team, Fargelanda Judo club was like one big family for me.The club sticking together, we had fun and it has given me memories that I will never forget.It was precisely this that made ​​me continue, when it went well was of course also a contributor and I always came home with a medal when we had competed but despite that I did not feel like one of the best. In my eyes always everyone else was so much better.When it went good for me the higher the demands I did put on myself.

In 1992, I won the Youth Championship and also simultaneously two of my classmates won the swedish championships in separate sports, Badminton and Archery. That three students in my class 9C on Valbo School in little Fargelanda had won the national championship at the same time was apparently unique and newspapers almost queued up to interview us. Bohuslänningen, Expressen, Aftonbladet, GT, DN and yes even Home Journal and even local radio interviewed us and I think neither we nor our classmates knew what it was all about. All this did of course put pressure on myself even more. They wrote that I am the best in Sweden but im not that good i thought. I could list several names in my head at the people who were much better than me. But now I had to stand up to this, as they wrote, now I can not lose.


I applied into the Judo High School and came in, while I joined the national team, but the more acknowledgement I got, the worse I felt. I even thought that I didnt fit into either the judo high school or in the national team, I could be taking a place for someone who really deserved it. The joy by practicing Judo was blown away, that feeling I had in Fargelanda Judo club was no longer there . It was not what I wanted. To quit judo high school and leave the national team was probably a decision that has haunted me all through life, it was my biggest failure and I have fought with these thoughts several times.It felt like I gave up , that I was not good enough. It felt like they were talking about me for years afterwards at the judo high school, “do not be a Rose-Marie Tell, do not give up so easily” … while I was in Fargelanda still the she who is so good at judo.

I continued with judo in Fargelanda but then as a coach for children and teens, I competed less often but when I did, i was still good. My last competition was the home competition “JudoDraget” Fargelanda in 1996 and it became a silver. After that I was rarely training and I moved from Fargelanda and judo belonged to the past. I was never good enough in my eyes.

In 2004 I moved back to Fargelanda and thought I would try Judo again, just like exercise, no requirements and no competitions, just having fun. As I stood there on the mat, it was as if I’d never been away. My old coach Tommy remained and my old students was now the coach, they were now my coach. Everyone looked up to me, the legend Rose Marie was back.

Well, it was a little back and forth, I came and went. But it was fun, the feeling that it was actually having fun with my judo came back. In 2006 I decided to participate in our own contest “Judodraget” once again, mostly by fun. As an anniversary, my first medal was in 1986 and my last one was in 1996 ,10 years apart, now I wanted a medal as it stood 2006 on. That was my only goal of the contest and I succeeded, I won two matches and lost two so it became a third place. Above all, I proved that I could compete because it was fun, no demands or expectations. It was just fun. Later on I have not competed and I have come and gone in the club. It’s enough so that I can never really let go of judo altogether, it has meant to much to me over the years. Judo is a part of me and dropping it entirely would probably be like to get rid of a body part.

Okay, I never took that step to go 110 % and I really admire all the sportsmen and women who do this because the medal has a downside to it. It’s not a bed of roses to be the best and today I can without hesitation say I was one of the best, of course i was. When I write this, I realize that it is almost 2016, 30 years ago, my very first medal … I smile and although the idea of a medal with the year 2016 is tempting so I am more than happy with 8 bronze, 17 silver and 16 gold that adorns my prizeshelf. Now Im called the steel grandmother at the club and to be steel grandmother sounds at least as fine as to be legendary. “

Rose-Marie Tell
Fargelanda Judo club

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