Kayla Harrison
When Kayla Harrison won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, she became the first American judoka of either gender to become an Olympic champion. In 2010, Harrison became only the fourth American to win a world title; she is the 2015 Pan American Games champion and the #1 judoka in the world in her division. She has nine individual Senior National Championships spread over three weight divisions. Harrison will set her sights on defending her Olympic title in Rio on August 11, 2016.

What I'll Do After Winning Gold At Rio

The plane jostles me from sleep. Glancing at the screen in front of me, I can see we have about two hours to go before we touch down in Boston. I'm anxious. I'm ready to be home in a way I've never felt before. On one hand, it's just been too long an…
By Kayla Harrison

I Took Gold At The Rio Olympics

I open my eyes and try to discern if I feel any different. I don’t think I do. I still feel like Kayla. But I’m not. Today, I am a warrior. Today, I am unstoppable. Today — my first day competing in the Rio Olympics — I am fearless. My bag is packed.…
By Kayla Harrison

My Rio Olympics Send-Off Made Me Ready To Go

Location: Home. Three weeks to go. I am in the middle of the final two weeks of training for the Rio Olympics. Two weeks of two-a-day judos and five sessions with my strength coach and his infamous circuits. Sleeping in my own bed helps, but only a l…
By Kayla Harrison

What My Last Fight Before Rio Felt Like

Location: Budapest, Hungary. Grand Prix. The alarm clock goes off, and I open my eyes. I'm excited. Today is competition day — the last one before I compete in the Rio Olympics. For many, this is a big day. For me, it’s just another day at the office…
By Kayla Harrison

This Is What Olympic Training Is Really Like

Location: Perpignan, France. Middle of Nowhere Judoka Training Camp. Before I even open my eyes, my mind is already churning. So many thoughts are running through my head. Rio is always first. What's for breakfast? What's the training menu for today?…
By Kayla Harrison