By Gary Mihoces, USA Sports
LONDON – Atop the podium with the USA’s first Olympic gold medal in judo around her neck, Kayla Harrison had a grin that looked like it might last forever. But at the first note of the national anthem, she wept.
By Andrew Weber,, USA TODAY Sports
Shared victory: Kayla Harrison celebrates with coach Jimmy Pedro, a four-time Olympian in judo who won bronze in 1996 and 2004.
For Harrison, it was a day to grin — and cry.
“I was just kind of reflecting back on my life and everything it’s taken to get here and everything I’ve gone through,” said Harrison, a native of Middletown, Ohio, who took up judo at age 6 because her mom wanted her to learn self defense. “I’m just so honored to be America’s first gold medalist in judo. I’m happy to realize my dream.” Read more …