msnbc | July 08, 2012
>>> now to the london olympics , the opening ceremonies begin in 19 dates. our next guest, kayla harrison, wants to become the first american ever to win the gold in judo. in 2012 , she became the first american woman in decades to went world championships . and kayla was recently on the cover of " sports illustrated " kids magazine as part of a team usa takes over london spread, you see her in the blue peeking out from the behind the door here. here is kayla harrison in studio joining me now. how are you? thank you for being here.
>> i'm great. thanks for having me.
>> so excited about t one of the things i think about, all the other kids out there, myself included when i was a kid, you dream about being an olympic athlete. what does it take to get there?
>> its years and years of hard work. i mean, i train twice a day in judo. i lift five days week. i run three days a week. so, i train two to three times day, six days week. but not only that it's been, you know, support. i have what he a huge support system behind me the whole way.
>> why judo? how did you get involved in that?
>> my mother took judo in college. when office little girl swhaerngts node learn self-defense and about a year later, i went to my first competition and i just femme in love with fighting people.
>> i want to play something that your grandfather said about you when you were wrestling with the boys. when you were wrestling with the
>> those poor guys, i feel sorry for them, two go out on the mats, look what i found here? she would send them off the mat, crying, how do you explain my girl beating?
>> just in middle school when you were doing that what was that like? make you popular, smeared wow, don't mess with kayla ?
>> pretty much all throughout middle school and high school , i was known as judo or jude doze chop, but it was fun. ed boys treated me -- i'm sometime one of the guys on the team, my nickname is doug.
>> there is something about your particular story that is inspirational, each of us deals with adversity different ways in our life, you having gone through a difficult time earlier, you channelled that and look what you've done with that talk about that, how you overcome troubling times.
>> um, you know, it's just dish think that no matter where you are in life, you know, there's always gonna be something, there's always going to be a roadblock and how you deal with it and what you do to overcome it is going to define who you are as a person and one of the things that i've learned from my coaches and my family is that, you know, i'm going to approach this with a positive attitude and i'm not going to let anything get me down and there's not going to be anything that stops me always reaching my goals.
>> yeah. what's that like when you envision heading to london and walking into opening ceremonies and getting there and preparing for your competition? it's a dream, sflifrnlt exactly. its a he is a dream. i think about it every night before guy to sleep. my coach is really big on positive thinking and visualization. every night before guy to sleep, i run through what it's going to be like at the olympics 25 days from now when i fight. and i get goosebumps thinking about it.
>> you could be the world champion coming up from the olympics. you are already a world champion . so look at that. who is your biggest competition?
>> probably the french girl.
>> yep. the french girl. just leave it at that. thank you and best of luck. be rooting for you big time .
>> thank you.
>> a reminder, nbc is your exclusive home of the london olympic games , opening ceremonies begin in just 19 days, watch the events all the networks of nbc, including right here.