• A.D.

Poise + Performance: Nef Papadakis

Judoka, Nef Papdakis is pushing toward greatness and striving for the podium at Tokyo 2021!


What Inspires You? My family, friends, and teammates all inspire me every day! Always push me to do better and strive for greatness!


What is your current season goal?

To make the 2021 Tokyo Olympic team and compete at the Olympic Games.



What is the most significant challenge you face in achieving your goal?


The most significant challenge is training in the USA and finding training partners that I can work with consistently. Judo isn’t a popular sport here, so it is a little harder finding people to work with. Staying healthy and uninjured is also hard at times because judo athletes don’t have an “off season” and we compete year round. So recovery is a huge part of trying to stay healthy.




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What is a technical aspect of your sport you are focusing on or have previously improved?

I have been working on improving my strength and agility a lot, especially during the pandemic. Also improving my recovery by rolling out more and doing more mobility regularly throughout the week.




"Always be respectful to others and work hard and great things will come your way!!

~ Nefeli Papadakis



Nef took Bronze at the 2021 Pan American Championships in Guadalagara, Mexico!


What is your approach to Recovery?

Take Friday’s off and do active recovery! I try to do a yoga session and some mobility work for about an hour. I also go to cryotherapy sometimes which is my new favorite thing for recovery!






Please share an inspirational word or pearl of advice for athletes who may view your feature!

Humbleness is a huge part of sport, especially a sport like judo. So, one of my favorite quotes is that “When you’re good you’ll tell other people, when you’re great they’ll tell you.” Always be respectful to others and work hard and great things will come your way!!

Samantha Dirks Track Athlete


Follow Nef!

IG: @nef.papadakis

Twitter: @nefpapadakis

Facebook: Nefeli Papadakis