Is there anything not to love about the Olympics? This week's been a great week for Team USA. With Michael Phelps and Rebecca Soni breaking records in swimming and the U.S. women's gymnastics team winning the team all-around gold medal for the first time in 16 years, as well as Gabby Douglas taking the gold medal in the all-around individual finals last night, the country's on a roll!
The only negative I could think of is that I can't watch all the sports—which leads me to the sport of Judo! Before the Olympics, I knew nothing about it, and I didn't realize how grueling it is. After watching, I have a new found respect for the athletes and sport.
Congratulations to Kayla Harrison for becoming the first-ever American athlete to win gold in Judo! What makes this victory even more special is Kayla’s story of triumph and overcoming adversity. According to recent stories, 22-year-old Kayla, who's originally from Ohio, was sexually abused by her first coach when she was just 13. For a long time, she contemplated giving up the sport, thought about running away from home, and even considered suicide. Instead, she left Ohio for Boston and started her life and the love for Judo all over again. She credits her new coach Jimmy Pedro and her fiancé Aaron Handy for her success and saving her life. Now she has rewarded them with America’s first Judo gold.
If that’s not a story of triumph and overcoming things that life will throw at you, then I don’t know what is.
We all could learn a very valuable lesson from Kayla about never giving up when things don’t go your way.
Thank you Kayla, and congrats on your gold medal!