Toma Nikiforov: The smiling Samurai. pupophoto.com
   
Toma Nikiforov: The smiling Samurai.
Toma Nikiforov is one of the Belgian Judo athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, whom I had the privilege to meet and photograph as part of the "Road to Rio" series.

When you see Toma you might be impressed by his size and tattoos, but while getting closer you realize that these almost 100kg on his body are full of kindness, respect & humility. You can discover a young guy full of determination to follow his dream, who look straight to your face while keeping his feet on the ground and heart wide open. It's been a really nice experience to watch him training hard with a smile on his face and making jokes as a teenager.

Although at his 23 he's already conquered a Bronze medal at the World championships and a Silver during the last Europeans in Kazan I have the humble opinion that he won't stop there and the best is to come.

When I asked him to bring his medals for the portrait session he just answered me: " I don't remember where they're". I just had to smile while realizing that for Toma, being a champion might be far beyond posing with a medal.

Good luck in Rio & thanks you for letting me share some time with You Toma.
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