The growing popularity of judo around the world, U.S. being one of the exceptions, is definitely real and happening. Judo is already one of the most popular and practiced sports in Japan, France, and Mongolia and its presence throughout all of Europe is growing. This weekend at the European Games in Belarus 12 of the 50 countries participating had a judoka as a flag bearer, more than any of the other 14 sports which included wrestling, boxing, karate, gymnastics, sambo, cycling, shooting, table tennis, basketball, beach soccer, track and field, badminton, canoeing and archery. In addition, the International Olympic Committe (IOC) recently selected 8 sports to have athletes representing the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Judo was one of the 8 sports chosen.