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khThis past weekend the kids met Team USA’s Olympic gold medalist, Kayla Harrison, at USA Judo’s Grand Prix in Miami.

She was gracious and friendly and the kids, especially Maya, were excited to meet her. The opportunity to meet a young, female athlete lead in a male dominated sport is unique, even though my girls, and even my son, are unaware of this. Thank goodness they live in an age where gender barriers and gaps are slowly disintegrating. Maya and Sophie are unaware that not so long ago, perhaps 2 or 3 generations ago, many of the things they take for granted as women, were unthinkable for their grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

But I digress. The Grand Prix Miami is an élite judo competition where only top olympic contenders from around the world are qualified to compete. Medaling and standing on the podium at such an exclusive event is a major feat for these athletes because it builds their international ranking and resume.

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Maya’s own Olympic dreams are nascent, as I imagine at some point for Kayla they were too. Few athletes can take an olympic dream and turn it into a reality. Who knows where Maya’s hard work and dedication will lead her to, but from my lopsided, unreliable, and completely subjective point of view, she’s already won gold.

 

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