I will be absolutely honest with you, again.
I have not been watching much Olympic Game coverage this time around, simply because my schedule has been posing other priorities lately.
But there is something on my mind that I have to post about and it is Olympic-related.
Four years ago at the Beijing Olympic Games an American judoka won the first Olympic medal ever for the U.S. judo team. It was the bronze medal and as we all know by now that definitely means a spot in the limelight.
This year at the London Games we experienced another first. An American judoka who took the top spot and won the first Olympic gold medal ever for American judo.
So, who are we talking about here?
4th degree judo black belt, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, and currently ranked the world’s #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter can look back on a stellar judo career which has lifted her to her current MMA ranking and celebrity-like status.
As a 17-year-old, Ronda was the youngest judoka at the 2004 Athens Olympics and that same year she became the World Junior Judo Champion in Budapest, Hungary.
In 2006, she won both Judo World Cop in Birmingham, England and the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.
A year later, Ronda was able to attain the silver medal at the World Judo Championships and follow up with a bronze medla at the 2007 Pan Am Games.
Two years after winning Olympic bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Ronda officially entered the MMA arena and has been wreaking havoc on her opponents, usually ending their bouts by submission via Ronda’s trademark armbar.
It looks something like this in one take:
Ronda’s current professional Strikeforce MMA record is 5-0 and she is scheduled to fight Sarah Kaufman on August 18, 2012 who will be dealing with this kind of stuff. By the way, in case you’re not a friend of the background music,
simply turn down the volume, like I did.
But wait, there’s more!
Just last week, on August 2, 2012, fellow American Kayla Harrison won Olympic gold at this year’s Olympic Games in the -78 kg category. She had to overcome some major obstacles during the previous years to achieve her Olympic greatness.
Before she started training with 4-time judo Olympian, Jimmy Pedro in Wakefield, Massachusetts, who by the way trained Ronda Rousey, before she moved the West Coast, where she is now training under Gene “Judo’Lebell and
and Armenian grappling greats such as Gokor Chivichyan and Edmond Tarverdyan, Kayla Harrison Harrison took up judo at the age of six, having been introduced to the sport by her mother who was a black belt.
She began being trained by coach Daniel Doyle, and won two national championships by the age of 15. However, during that period Doyle was abusing Harrison, who reported it to another judoka, who in turn told Harrison’s mother.
She subsequentally reported this to the police. Doyle was convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term. A month after the abuse was revealed, she moved away from her home. (Source: wikipedia).
In 2010, Kayla became World Judo Champion in Tokyo, Japan and the following year 2011 she won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris, France.
At the Panamerican Games in 2010 and 2011, Kayla won first bronze and later gold!
One could say that this development has cemented here standings in her current category of -78 kg and has helped her attained Olympic glory by winning the 2012 gold medal.
So, what’s next for Kayla Harrison? Will she follow Ronda Rousey and possibly enter the world of mixed martial arts?
Her grappling skills and her groundwork certainly give her an excellent starting position.
Take a look at what Kayla Harrison is capable of: