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Aug
03
K.H. Wins US Gold In Judo: Making The Sport Her Blessing, No Longer An Evil

Kayla Harrison may be able to kick the sh*t out of most people we know, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t vulnerable.  Harrison, the 22 year-old Ohio native, won the gold medal in Judo this week, a modern martial arts combat sport aimed at taking down your opponent.  This may be her first gold medal, and the first judo gold for the USA, but it ain’t the first time she learned to take someone down.

While most of Harrison’s opponents are innocent victims acquiesencing to getting whipped, her coach was a guilty perpetrator that Harrison destroyed off the mat and in the courtroom.  When the Penn State sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky came out, Harrison finally opened up publicly about her story.  As a teenager, Harrison was sexually abused by her judo coach ultimately having intercourse with him when they were traveling to judo tournaments.  She kept her terrible secret for several years and eventually released the horrific truth to her friend (and now fiance) and then her mother.  Her former coach was sentenced to 10 years in prison and banned from judo forever.

Harrison somehow managed to rebound and return to judo after being forever scarred emotionally.  The sport that was once her horror is now a blessing and has brought her back to life.  She will be a role model not just on the mat, but off, as well, for all of those looking for a way to overcome abuse.

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