Kayla Harrison began training in judo at age 6 and is the first American ever to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport, which she did in both 2012 and 2016. Yet her competitive success masked an unimaginable personal struggle. At the age of 16, she revealed that she had been sexually abused by her coach for years. Today, Kayla uses her gold medal profile, voice, and example, as well as her Fearless Foundation, to encourage and empower other survivors of child sexual abuse. Now retired from competing in judo, Kayla currently is a mixed martial artist with the Professional Fighters League and 2x PFL World Champion holding 2 back to back titles. She continues to train at American Top Team in Coconut Creek Florida.
Kayla Jean Harrison is born July 2, 1990
Kayla wins the Junior U.S Open 3 years in a row.
Kayla begins Judo, having been introduced to the sport by her mother, who was a black belt.
Kayla became only the third American to win the Junior World Championships in 2008. She won a Silver Medal at the Junior World Championships in 2009 and became Senior World Champion in 2010.