Kayla Harrison defeated Audrey Tcheumeo of France via ippon to become the first American judoka to win a gold medal in two straight Olympic Games.
Harrison locked in the ippon, or armbar, with just seven seconds remaining. Already ahead on penalties by that point in the match, she has now two gold medals in the 78kg category. Mayra Aguilar of Brazil, the main rival to Harrison, ended up winning the bronze medal, while Tcheumeo settled for silver.
Harrison won her semifinal match against Anamari Velensek of Slovenia by armbar, too, and she finished every bout she competed in at Rio. Harrison has announced her retirement from Olympic competition, and she will not be participating at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
There is a chance Harrison could be joining the world of MMA, and she already has hired an agent who is fielding offers.
"Several contracts have been sent to my agent," Harrison said. "He’s looked at it, and he’s said ‘no’ to all of them. He said there’s not enough money. And I trust him. But, again, we’re not making any decisions right now. We have had offers, we had contracts sent, but I think once the Olympics are over, and everything sorts of settles down, I can decide whether or not I like to punch people in the face."
Coincidentally enough, Harrison is a former training partner of another Olympian-turned-MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey. Rousey won a bronze medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing, and became one of the faces of the UFC, let alone the face of its women’s bantamweight division established in 2012.
"I guess I always had a little bit of a Ronda complex, you could say. Anything she does, I wanna do — and I wanna do it better," Harrison said. "You know, I always tried to be the best at whatever it is I do, and at some point in your life I think everyone has that goal of being rich, being famous, and being a superstar. Who doesn’t want that? I think everybody does, and, at the end of the day, I’m a fighter. I love to fight. I love judo because it’s a battle of wills, and what is a bigger battle of wills than stepping in a cage with someone and forcing them to your will? Bending them to your will?"
Original story by MMA Fighting