When Nikki Kubes was a little girl, she had two dreams – to make it to the Olympics someday, and to follow in her dad’s footsteps by becoming a police officer. And despite life putting some hurdles in Nikki’s way, she managed to reach both her childhood goals.
Born and raised in Ft Worth, Texas in August of 1986, Nikki and her sister were enrolled in Judo class when she was seven, because her dad – a patrolman and constable – wanted his daughters to learn how to protect themselves in an increasingly dangerous world. Both sisters excelled at the sport, and before long it became evident the Kubes girls were far more talented than their fellow Judo classmates. In fact, both of them were soon deemed to be skilled enough to even make it to the Olympics someday.
Unfortunately Nikki’s sister, Bridgette, suffered a devastating neck injury in a freak car accident. The physical damage she sustained proved severe and eliminated her from competition entirely. This left Nikki to pursue her Olympic dreams alone, albeit with the continued, steadfast support from Bridgette and her father.
And so, a 17-year-old Nikki Kubes competed for gold in Greece at the 2004 Summer Olympics. She and her teammate – the now legendary Ronda Rousey – were among the youngest female competitors in Judo, and indeed in the entire American Olympic team. However, Nikki’s trip to Athens didn’t end with a medal, though she fought well. After winning her first match and losing the next two, she finished in a respectable ninth position overall. Following the Games she vowed to return for the 2008 Games, in a renewed effort to win Olympic Gold..
Over the next three years, Nikki trained for a second trip to the Olympics and her goal of returning home a medal winner. Redoubling her efforts she won Bronze at the 2004 National Championships and the 2004 Titan Games. When she was crowned National Champion in 2006, it seemed as though nothing could stop Nikki Kubes quest for a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, disaster struck at the 2007 Pan-American Championships in Argentina, when she suffered a torn ACL and MCL during a qualifying match.
Following reconstructive knee surgery and a year of rehab, Nikki was unable to overcome her injury in time to make the Beijing Olympic team. So, with her dreams of Olympic Gold at an end, Nikki set her sights on her second life-goal, to become a police officer.
Using Judo Lessons to become a Better Police Officer
Judo is a sport known around the world for its throwing techniques, chokeholds, pins, and arm locks. With such an intense sporting background, Nikki Kubes quickly passed the physical requirements to become a Fort Worth police officer. The life lessons she gained in the gym, in Athens, through being a Judoka, and as a result of her injury also prepared her mentally for the challenges she would have to face daily as a law-enforcement professional.
Nicola Kubes has taken a vow to protect and serve the citizens of Fort Worth. It is a serious commitment, which she works hard to fulfill on a daily basis. Having participated in a Play Like a Girl campaign to encourage other young ladies to follow their heart and never give up on their dreams, even when obstacles – such as sexism – are in their path, she is a role model for girls and young women around this nation. Indeed, had this former Olympian simply given up on her dreams following her injury, she might not have found the strength to pursue her other life goal.
Today, Nikki Kubes is a respected patrolwoman in Fort Worth, Texas. The determination and confidence Nikki Kubes learned through Judo helped her become the person she is now. Through her struggles and triumphs, Nikki has become an inspiration for girls and women all over the world, as well as a welcome addition to Texas’ law enforcement.
She is proud to have been born, raised, and to now be working in the city she loves. She attended the local high school, Southwest High, studied communications at the local college, Texas Christian University, and is protecting and serving her local community.