Kayla Harrison Retires From Judo

Photo/Instagram: judo_kayla

Kayla Harrison, an American judoka, has quit USA Judo due to her longstanding issues with the association.

She announced this at USA Judo’s Night of Champions fundraising dinner on April 29, 2017.

She was quite grateful and also a bit emotional during her farewell speech, especially when she traveled back to her starting years and how those years taught her important life lessons. The young judoka also talked about how much she loved the sport despite all the injuries and struggles that came about probably due to her choice of career.


Kayla also took the opportunity to express her thoughts on USA Judo, which obviously weren’t positive. She believes USA Judo not only doesn’t have any proper plans in place, but lacks the power to implement those plans. This is why, according to Kayla, USA Judo cannot succeed at the highest level.

Kayla Harrison is also sick of seeing USA Judo avoid capitalizing on the most talented practitioners.

What do you think of Kayla’s decision to quit USA Judo?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this article mistakenly said Kayla Harrison announced her retirement on April 30 at a press meeting. Shortly after posting the article, USA Judo contacted us with the following email: 


There is incorrect information in your article “Kayla Harrison Retired from Judo”.

Paragraph two states “She announced this in a press meeting on April 30, 2017.” In fact, Kayla Harrison made this announcement on April 29, 2017, at USA Judo’s Night of Champions fundraising dinner where she was awarded her American Medal Rewards Funding of $25,000 from USA Judo for her Gold medal performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The dinner was organized by USA Judo to honor the 2016 USA Judo Olympic and Paralympic medalists as well as the organization’s past president, Lance Nading.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Thank you,

Cara Fasciani


  1. USA Judo needs to be completely gutted. Not one gold medal was achieved by any American during this weekend’s Pan American Games. The United States has the money, facilities, and resources to be among the best in Judo but USAJ keeps failing their athletes over and over again. The Pedro family are the only ones in the United States developing international athletes get that to the medal stand at major IJF tournaments.

    • I completely agree with Judo Dave – and Kayla. I won the world championships 33 years ago, my daughter won an Olympic medal 9 years ago and now Kayla. In all of that time, we keep repeating the same mistakes. This is why successful athletes move on, take those skills that made them successful in judo l and apply them to areas other than judo to become successes elsewhere. Kayla will do fine and judo in America will continue to limp along.

  2. USA Judo is filled with it’s own ideas, poor business practices, and the few honest being silently guilty by association. This political machine is in pace with current political process, which will kill it’s life and raise up a honorable replacement, or die in it’s own deceit and corruption. If you can not hold our greatest ever, why do you think you will hold the little people?


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