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Celine Dion gets judo champion pumped for fights

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23-year-old judo champ Teddy Riner gets in the zone before competing by listening to music.
(JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP)
Do you have a "pump up song" or playlist that gets you in the zone before a big game, test or workout?

Five-time world judo champion Teddy Riner does, but unlike many of his contemporaries it's not a driving beat or heavy guitar riff blaring through his headphones before a fight.

Riner gets hyped on the power ballads of Canadian crooner Celine Dion.

"My pre-competition ritual is always the same - the same headphones, the same music, the same packet of candy, the same kimono - always the same things," he told CNN, speaking in French.

When asked about what's on his iPod, the 23-year-old French judoka didn't hesitate to answer "Celine Dion... as well as a bit of dancehall, a bit of rap, a bit of everything."

It may seem like an unusual choice of music, but Celine Dion seems to do great job of motivating the Guadeloupe-born, Paris-raised athlete - who also known by the nickname is Big Ted.

Along with his five world titles, Riner has won 11 medals since 2007, including the gold medal in men's judo at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

It's likely that his intense training schedule, athletic prowess and impressive physique (he stands at 6 ft 8 in height and weighs in at 290 lb) have more to do with Riner's success than Celine Dion's one-of-a-kind-warble - but he's far from the only elite athlete to make use of a regular hype track.

Michael Phelps listens to DMX's Party Up before racing, Russian sprinter Kseniya Vdovina swears by Queen's "The Show Must Go On", and NBA superstar LeBron James prefers the stylings of Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang Clan.

What's your go-to song for getting amped? Share them with us below!

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