In 2010, Tracey Goodell accomplished something special.
At the Pan, she reigned at blue belt, conquering the lightweight and absolute divisions.
Promoted to purple belt by her master Lloyd Irvin, two months later Tracey repeated the same awesome performance at the Worlds.
Such great results made her one of the most promising names in female Jiu-Jitsu.
When 2011 came, the Jiu-Jitsu community expected to see Tracey shine again and maybe reach the brown belt to compete with the top black belt girls, such as Kyra Gracie, Gabi Garcia, Luanna Alzuguir, Beatriz Mesquita, Hannette Staack, Hillary Williams and others.
But that didn’t happen.
Tracey vanished from Jiu-Jitsu’s biggest stages, but she did so for a good reason – perhaps the best of reasons.
We’ll let her explain, as she posted on her blog last August 18: “After a long nine months, Mike Fowler and I were blessed with a baby boy! Thor Michael Makani Fowler. He was born on June 6, 2011!”
Did you notice the date of Thor’s birth? He arrived one day after the final day of competitions of the Worlds 2011, on June 5.
So we could say, Tracey won her very special and personal prize this year off the mats.
We doubt she cares one bit about her absence from the Long Beach pyramid.
In the same blog post, Tracey makes clear that being a mom won’t keep her from pursuing the goal of becoming a black belt world champion, as she once told GRACIEMAG.com: “I did my best to keep up with my training as much as I could. Even grip fighting when I was 7-8 months. Just trying to get a sweat here and there, I was eager to stay on the mat. About 2-3 weeks after I gave birth, I was back to training again! Not feeling 100% but I was trying my hardest. I could’t wait any longer. I am now in my seventh week of training and I’m feeling great, drilling and sparring daily!”
So watch out for Tracey in 2012, as now she has a whole new reason to be the best.