I read a New York Times profile on Ronda Rousey, a 21 year old American woman who is competing in judo at the Beijing Olympics. The Boston Globe did a nice profile on her as well.
I was fascinated for a number of reasons. The next sport I want to try is a martial art and I'm heavily leaning towards a grappling discipline like judo. Also, Rousey is from California. How can I not feel kinship with a fellow Californian? Well, a southern Californian but I'll forgive that.
In particular, I was struck by Rousey's personality. How often do you hear about a girl who trashes both girls and guys in a martial art? Rousey is brash, hates to lose, and outrageously quirky. She even keeps a blog at rondarousey.net where she writes things like "it’s a big turn off if I can beat up a guy easy, "i set up a mean hookah", "when i’m waaay too comfortable i drool in my sleep." She once said in an interview in response to what people should know about her: "Not all jocks and blondes are dumb. Because if that's true, then I would be doubly dumb, and I'm actually not that dumb."
She is also a courageous young woman who survived her father's suicide and came back to judo after a turbulent period when she ran away from home.
Yesterday in Beijing (today in America), Rousey won a bronze medal in 63-70 kg women's judo. Way to go Ronda!!!