Kayla Harrison Talks Suicide, Sexual Abuse, And How Judo Saved Her

Flickr/ Creative Commons: Agência Brasil Fotografias

Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison is tough. That goes without saying. But in a recent article she wrote for CNN, she revealed just how tough she is.

You see, Kayla Harrison, like so many other women and men around the world, was a victim of sexual abuse. In Kayla’s case, it was at the hands of her first coach:

When I was 16, having just moved to Boston to train with the Olympic coaches Jimmy Pedro and his father, I’d also just revealed to my mom that my first coach had sexually abused me. It was a tumultuous time.

Kayla thought about running away. She even thought about suicide. But her teammates and her dream of being an Olympic gold medalist saved her:

I struggled with thoughts of suicide for years, during the abuse and after the abuse, but having a goal — the dream of being an Olympic champion — and strong people around helped in my darkest hour.

You can read the rest of Kayla’s story here.



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