Olympian Kayla Harrison discusses overcoming sexual abuse

Kayla Harrison was the first American to win gold in a Judo event. But behind her competitive success was an unimaginable personal struggle. At the age of 16, Harrison revealed that she had been sexually abused by her coach. Harrison discusses how she overcame her painful past and transformed her life at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium at Penn State Berks. This event is free and open to the public.

After Harrison’s story came to light, she moved from Ohio to Massachusetts to train with Jimmy Pedro, a two-time Olympic Bronze medalist, and his father. When she arrived in Massachusetts, she hated Judo, wanted to run away, and even contemplated suicide. Through discipline, tenacity, and the support of the Pedros, she fought through the pain both on and off the mat, transforming herself into a strong, confident, articulate young woman who also happens to be a world-class athlete.  

Penn State Berks reserves the right to limit the photography and/or recording of any program. The permitted or prohibited activities during a particular program will be announced at the beginning of the event and/or included in the printed program. All media requesting interviews and/or access to photograph and/or tape any program must contact the Office of University Relations at 610-396-6053.

This presentation is part of the Arts and Lecture series. For more information, contact the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076.

 

Last Updated September 05, 2014