Friday, August 05, 2016

Ronda Rousey is the best known fighter in mixed martial arts. In fact, in 2015, she was #3 for top trending people on Google, just ahead of presidential candidate Donald Trump.

She is now the veteran of several Hollywood movies with more to come, but couldn’t form an intelligible sentence until she was six years old, due to apraxia, a neurological childhood speech sound disorder.

Rousey spent just 10 years in Judo, starting with her mother, Dr. AnnMaria DeMars, the first American to win a gold medal in Judo at the world championships, at age 11. Rousey retired at 21, after winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. It was Rousey’s second Olympic appearance; she qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, at age 17, becoming the youngest judoka in the entire Games.

Although she won a silver medal at the 2007 World Judo Championships, and a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, it is her 2008 Olympic showing that she is best known for in the gentle way.

The women’s Olympic Judo middleweight (up to 70 kg/144 lbs) tournament was held on 13 August 2008 at the Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium. There were 22 contestants. As is standard in Judo, contests were 5 minutes in length, extended to another 5 minute, sudden death period in the event of a draw. If the bout remained tied, it went to judge’s decision.

There is a single elimination tournament to reach gold. Each athlete who lost to a semi-finalist is entered into a repechage for bronze. The two players who lost in the semis face the winner of the repechage bracket to determine the final two bronze medals. The last two players do not have a match for a single bronze medal, but rather are both awarded one.


This is a highlight of Ronda Rousey’s Olympic efforts.

Rousey retired from Judo at 21, working multiple jobs as a bartender and cocktail waitress, sharing cramped apartments, and for a period of time, lived out of her car with her dog. At 22, she decide to compete in mixed martial arts.

She made her amateur debut on August 6, 2010. 18 months later, she defeated Miesha Tate and was the champion of the world. If Rousey puts the same decade into MMA that she put into Judo, that would see her in the Octagon until 2020, time enough to break some more records, and perhaps arms.