Athlete of the Issue: Alice Mihas


Rik Vander Sanden

Alice Mihas takes on Ezra Van Der Krieke of the Netherlands

Mia Banks, Guest Writer

Alice Mihas tests her abilities in countless sports. While she excels in tennis and basketball, she’s particularly gifted in judo. Mihas travels worldwide, challenging some top competitors from around the world. Just recently, Alice traveled to the 2020 Danish Open in Vejle, Denmark, where she placed seventh in her division. She competed against individuals from thirty different countries.

Alice began judo at only six years old, but she’d had an inclination to do so even before then. “I always felt like I was bigger and stronger than all the other kids,” she said. And once she started, she fell in love with the sport. After her first competition, Alice’s coach told her about her potential and encouraged her to begin competing at a national level. Alice said, “I don’t think I would have ever realized it until my coach told me. I really appreciate him and all he has done for me at the club and opening my eyes up to this judo world.” 

Because Alice competes at such high levels, she has gotten used to traveling worldwide for tournaments, having to miss school to do so. While it may seem fun, she said, “It’s definitely hard to keep up with school.” However, Alice feels that the experience is worth it all, especially in terms of the new connections she makes. “I also get to visit a lot of places and meet people from all over the world I normally wouldn’t see without Judo,” she said.  

However, being a nationally ranked athlete is no easy feat. Alice spends five days a week training for hours a day, ramping up her training prior to a competition. More difficult than the time commitment, however, is cutting weight, according to Alice. She explained, “Typically I’m cutting ten to twelve pounds, which is a substantial amount of weight.” While talking about weight can seem like a difficult thing to do for many, Alice has no problem sharing weight stats with her coaches. “I feel completely comfortable with my coaches in that environment talking about weight and letting them know where I’m at,” she said.

One stigma that surrounds judo is that it is often perceived as being more violent and masculine. However, most of these statements are judgments made by those unfamiliar with the sport, as Alice noted. She said, “It’s definitely strange when someone asks me, ‘Oh you do judo? Can you beat me up?’ When someone asks a guy if they do judo, they’re a lot less surprised. I think it makes people assume that I have to be a masculine person just because I do this one sport.”

Along with being an excellent athlete Alice has shown to be a great teammate in other sports, like tennis. Mia Lapiere, ninth grade, is on Alice’s varsity Tennis team. She described her experience playing with Alice. “ She is always enthusiastic and passionate on the court, and her sunglasses add to it!” 

Alice has also received lots of positive recognition from her own coach. He describes her as being one of his “all time favorite players.” He went on to say how her great work ethic is what separates her from other players along with her desire to do her best–when discussing her future he said, “ I’m extremely confident that she’ll qualify to make multiple Cadet and Junior World teams in the coming years.” 

With the coronavirus pandemic, all sports have been postponed, leaving athletes at a loss for a physical outlet during these uncertain times. The virus has caused nationals, one of her biggest tournaments of the year, to be postponed. The delay of such an important milestone for an athlete can leave them feeling anxious and at a disadvantage because they have less time to train. Alice feels nothing short of a longing to go back and continue practicing judo. While Alice is concerned, she is trying her best to stay positive and do all she can. “I am trying my best to stay fit with the uncertain future,” she said.