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Rusty Kanokogi

Kayla, Rusty, and the "best sport in the world"

When I opened The Boston Globe on Friday morning, I was greeted by a large photo above the fold of a jubilant Kayla Harrison, who had just become the first US judo athlete to win an Olympic gold medal.

Grappling all the way to the Olympics

For the first time in world history, this year every country competing in the Olympics has a female athlete on its team.

Rusty Kanokogi, 1935 - 2009

Put me in a jar with Rena "Rusty" Kanokogi, give it a few shakes and pull me out. I'd never again be boring, weak, uncaring or humorless. I would have a lasting coating of spunk, tirelessness, compassion and fervor. I would be indomitable, unforgettable and endearing to everyone but the foot-dragging powers-that-be who oppose me.

Rena Kanokogi, pushing 70, has been called many things, but is most known as the first lady of women's judo worldwide. Thank goodness she's somehow finding time in her frenetic schedule to chronicle her journey.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rusty Kanokogi." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/20804>.

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