What a fighter! U.S. star overcomes years of sexual abuse at hands of her ex-coach to win America’s first EVER judo gold medal

11.27.2012

By Daily Mail Reporter Defeats British fighter Gemma Gibbons, who took the silver medal Says ‘this is my purpose’ after winning gold medal Harrison, 22, endured years of sexual abuse by former coach, Daniel Doyle Revealed her abuse ordeal in wake of Penn State sex scandal Kayla Harrison stunned the world with a gold medal in judo – a first for the U.S. – in an incredible show of strength for a champion who suffered years of sexual abuse at Read more

Pillar of strength: Judo champion finds healing, tough love

11.27.2012

By Vicki Michaelis, USA TODAY WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Early in the morning, late in the evening, and seemingly every hour in between, Pedro’s Judo Center hums with intensity. At any time, Jim Pedro Sr. might be exhorting a student complaining of an injury to “Get tough!” His son, Jimmy Pedro, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist, could be demonstrating a technique with a merciless takedown. Yet in this place, which gives quarter to hard work and little else, Kayla Harrison found Read more

Kayla Harrison wins bronze at the 2011 World Judo Championships

11.12.2012

FRANCE – Kayla Harrison didn’t have the day she wanted. She entered the 2011 World Judo Championships in Paris intent on winning her second consecutive world title, but instead will bring home a bronze medal. The title went to France’s Audrey Tcheumeo, whom Harrison fought in the semi-final match in front of 12,000 French judo fans. Tcheumeo took the lead half-way through the match and held on to the time limit to win. “The French girl looked good and earned her world title today,” Read more

World Judo Champion Kayla Harrison continues her medals rampage

11.12.2012

PUERTO LA CRUZ, VENEZUELA – World Judo Champion Kayla Harrison continued her medals rampage, winning a silver at the World Cup in Venezuela this weekend. Harrison, who is the reigning world judo champion in the women’s -78 kg weight division, trains with Team FORCE in Wakefield, Mass., and is originally from Middletown, Ohio. She entered the tournament ranked number two in the world. She received a bye in the first round and faced Diana Chala of Ecuador in the second round. Harrison threw her opponent for Read more

World Champion Kayla Harrison dominates field in Birmingham

11.12.2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – Kayla Harrison, the United States’ newest world judo champion, captured a gold medal Sunday morning at the European Judo Union World Cup for Women in Birmingham, England. Coming off a silver medal performance in Uzebekistan one week earlier, Harrison, 20, dominated all four matches by ippon, the equivalent of a technical knockout in boxing. Despite competing sick, she defeated Anastasia Dmitrieva of Russia in the opening round, and then went on to beat Jennifer Kuypers of Netherlands and Poland’s Daria Pogorzelec. In the Read more