Watch an exclusive interview video filmed prior to what would turn out to be Kayla Harrison's history-making, gold-medal-winning judo performance at the 2012 Olympic Games!

Twenty-two year-old Kayla Harrison stunned the world this summer by earning a gold medal in judo at the London Olympics. That in itself would be an accomplishment worthy of a story in Black belt. However, her accomplishment is grander than its face value. Kayla Harrison, through her judo gold-medal victory in London, became the first American — man or woman — to win gold in Olympic judo competition. In short, she made history. You may remember that Black Belt ran a story on Kayla Harrison in its April 2011 issue and published an online judo video featuring her demonstration of ouchi gari (major inner reaping throw). Well, we were introduced to her by none other than four-time Olympian and two-time bronze-medal winner Jimmy Pedro Jr. — perhaps the winningest judo coach in history, having trained at least eight judoka to the elite skill level necessary for Olympic Games entry. Among these judoka were none other than 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey — and, of course, now gold medalist Kayla Harrison.


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In this exclusive interview video filmed during the setup for the December 2010 photo shoot for her first Black Belt feature story in the April 2011 issue, Kayla Harrison shared with us a quick rundown of her judo history as she prepared for what would turn out to be her history-making performance at the 2012 Olympic Games!

JUDO VIDEOS Kayla Harrison Discusses Her Judo History Prior to Winning Olympic Gold!

You can read an exclusive POST-OLYMPICS interview with Kayla Harrison in the November 2012 issue of Black Belt. If you can't find it on newsstands because it has been replaced by the December 2012 issue, you can order a digital copy of the issue for your Amazon Kindle Fire, your Barnes & Noble NOOK, your Android phone/tablet through Google Play and your home computer (both Mac and PC as well as the iPad) through the Zinio digital newsstand. Visit blackbeltmag.com/digital for instant access to the vendor for your particular device! For more information on Kayla Harrison, visit her official website at kaylaharrison.com!

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Japan continued their judo dominance at the Tokyo Olympics Monday as 2016 gold medalist Shohei Ono defended his title in the men's 73 kg division beating Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili with a foot sweep in overtime to again earn the championship. On the women's side, Nora Gjakova claimed Kosovo's second judo gold of the games defeating France's Sarah-Leonie Cysique for the 57 kg title.

In taekwondo action, Croatia's Matea Jelic beat Britain's Lauren Williams 25-22 to win the women's 67 kg category while Maksim Khramtsov, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, defeated Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan 20-9 to earn gold in the men's 80 kg class.


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