Kayla Harrison Named Finalist for U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame

by Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Two-time Olympic Champion Kayla Harrison (Middletown, Ohio / NYAC) has made history throughout a career that included both back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016 and a Senior World Championship title in 2010.

Now USA Judo’s most decorated athlete has the opportunity to make history again – this time as the first judo athlete to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.

2022 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame Finalists

On Monday, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee named Harrison as one of 15 finalists into the 2022 Olympic Hall of Fame Class with five athletes being inducted in a ceremony in Colorado Springs on June 24. The finalists were selected from a pool of hundreds of nominees submitted by National Governing Bodies and High Performance Multi-Sport Organizations.

Voting will be open to the public from May 2-16. Click here to cast your vote.

In addition to the public, votes also will be tallied from U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team members, Olympic and Paralympic media, members of the USOPC Board of Directors, National Governing Body executive directors and representatives from both the Athletes’ Advisory and Paralympic Advisory Councils.

Harrison, who retired in 2016 after an undefeated career at the Olympic Games, was not only the first American ever to win Olympic gold in judo, but the first U.S. woman to win a Senior World Championship title since judo was added to the Games as a full medal sport in 1992. After her retirement from judo, Harrison embarked on a successful MMA career, where she holds an undefeated record at 12-0, including winning the PFL women’s lightweight title in both 2019 and 2021.

An advocate for survivors of sexual assault, Harrison founded the Fearless Foundation whose mission is to shine a light on child sexual abuse and enrich the lives of survivors through education and sport.