Logyn and Ryley Puahala, Junior Olympics in their sights

The bond between big brother Ryley Puahala (13) and younger sister Logyn Puahala (7) runs deep with principles based on taking care of one another while working together to reach their goals of one day standing on the Olympic awards podium while gold medals in Judo are placed around their necks, hands on their hearts as the National Anthem is played and the American flag is raised in their honor. First up are the 2018 USA Judo Junior Olympics National and International Championships in Spokane, Washington from June 22-24. Logyn will make her return to the Junior Olympics as the defending national and international champion. Ryley will be competing in his first Junior Olympics National and International Championships.

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com
 
Logyn (L) and Ryley Puahala (R) pictured with their Dad, Robin Puahala
 

Both Logyn and Ryley recently competed in March at the 2018 USA Judo Youth National Championships held in York, Pennsylvania. They worked hard preparing to make the long journey to compete against the nations’ best in their respective weight classes. Their hard work and dedication paid off as Logyn captured gold while Ryley won 3rd place.

 “I’m happy that they both decided to go down and compete,” said Robin Puahala (Dad, Head Coach, Pearl City High School Chargers Judo, Pearl City Hongwanji Judo Club). “Ryley was going to sit out because of school and he decided at the last minute that he wanted to come down. He cut 13 pounds to get into the tournament two weeks out.  He fought hard. He was winning with 18 seconds left to get to the finals. He won third place. We’re sending them both to the Junior Olympics at Spokane, Washington in June. Logyn is going to defend her title, because she’s the international and national title defending champion. Ryley is going to go there for the first time. I’m very proud of them. Hopefully they can do what they need to do.”

“We just came back from Pennsylvania to compete in a national tournament,” said Ryley Puahala.  “Competition was really hard. Everyone over there is top of the top. I came out with a third place. My goal when I go to Junior Olympics is to win first place. I’m training hard right now and I want to thank my dad and my mom for encouraging me to train harder. It’s really nice being around my sister. She also pushes me too. “

“It always feels really great to win, but if your opponents lose, than you just tell them good job,” said Logyn Puahala.  “It’s really good that my parents are supporting me and their teaching me so I can get better like Kayla Harrison and go to the Olympics. I want to say thank you to Eli Oshiro my training partner. He helped me train to be good and to get first place and he got me a gift and I got him a gift back.”

"Eli came for three weeks,” said Robin Puahala. “Every week he sacrificed during his soccer season. He skipped practice to help her train. He was her partner all the way through. First thing Logyn wanted to do when she won was call Eli and tell him that she won a medal and that both of them won and earned it. We can only go as far as our training partners, and without her training partner, she wouldn’t have done it.”

The true meaning of PC I.N.K. – Incredible Neighborhood Kids is defined in Ryley and Logyn’s spirit and courage, and the love and respect that they have for each other, their ohana, friends, and sport of Judo. They are an exceptional brother and sister duo who have only begun to make an impact in the world through the sport of Judo. Their success will shine for themselves and for all of us as as they represent their ohana, friends, teammates, and Hawaii on a global stage, today, and in the future.

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Pictured from L-R) Eli Oshiro (Logyn's training partner, Ryley and Logyn.

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo courtesy of Robin Puahala

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Puahala ohana pictured at the 2018 HHSAA State Judo Championships

held at the Neil Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on Saturday, May 5, 2018.