Road to the London Olympics

After the close of the impressive 2012 World Choir Games, the people of Cincinnati can now turn their full attention to the upcoming London Olympics which open on July 27, 2012′

For the first time, women in the U.S team outnumber men 269 to 261.

One of the women, the prospective – or even, the projected – first ever U.S gold medalist in Judo, has roots in Cincinnati. Not only that; Kayla Harrison, a Middletown native, has a life story that is pure inspiration as an example of one who overcomes affliction to emerge out a star.

It is fair to say that, even before London, Kayla Harrison is role model and a teacher to many. In 2004, when she was only 13, she was sexually abused by her judo trainer, and a sexual relationship continued for three years.  It is devastating at such a tender age – or even at any age – to be abused by a person in a position of trust.

Yet, she overcame all that. Lou Holtz is quoted to have said, “It is not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it”. That is the first lesson we all learn.

The second lesson is how she bonded with positive people at Pedro’s Judo Center in Massachusetts, and managed to keep pursuing her Judo dreams after her emotional ordeal. It a lesson everyone can learn.

A first gold medal in Judo for the U.S will be a well-deserved crown for Kayla Harrison for her endurance. Again, that is almost assured. However, even without it, she has this far taught many some useful lessons which will continue to be part of her legacy.

At only 22, Kayla Harrison is, and will continue to be a role model for many across the country and around the world.


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