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Judo's Mark Mangino

This is the coach of Cuba's women's judo team coach. His name is Ronaldo Veitia. He's my favorite coach of the Olympics.

The coaches are the hidden stars of the Olympic events. The athletes are often stoic, and when they get excited and happy, they're often scary, muscles and ligaments and other body parts popping out all over the place.

The coaches, though, look like us. And when they get excited and happy, they often act like deranged caffeinated grasshoppers. One Algerian judo coach completely lost his mind, skipping and jumping and twirling in the air after his man's semifinal victory.

Ronaldo Veitia doesn't jump. But his affectionate pats on the head of victorious judo players leave no doubt when he's pleased. Then he happily leaves the playing surface. Sometimes, it takes a while.

(These photos are both old, and he doesn't seem to have that little rat tail thing any more, but he's still a marvel to observe.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 16, 2008; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Olympics  
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