Person of the Week : Ronda Rousey
By : Jazmine Montgomery
This summer has been a great summer for women in the sports world with Serena Williams winning another Wimbledon , and the USA’s women’s soccer team winning the World Cup . Ronda Rousey has continued this summer of Girl Power in the sports world by winning her most recent UFC fight , and showing the world once again that whatever Men can do Women can do better .
Ronda Jean Rousey was born February 1 ,1987 in Riverside , California . Rousey had a diffcult childhood , she did not speak her first word until she was six years old due complications during child birth . When Rousey was young her and her family faced a true tragedy , when her father broke his back while sledding with Rosuey , and her sisters. A blood disorder would prevent Rousey’s fathers back from healing properly doctors told him that the blood disorder would slowly make him a paraplegic and kill him ,when Rousey was 8 years old her father took his own life .
Rousey had a tough time focusing in school , and had a hard time channeling her energy in the right places . So when Rousey her mother Ann Maria helped her daughter channel her energy the right way by helping her channel it into Judo . Ann Maria was a world wide champion in Judo in 1984 . Ronda feel in love with judo , and dreamed of being in the Olympics one day .
By Rousey’s sophomore year in high school , she was improving greatly in Judo but not so well in the books . Her spanish teacher gave her a hard time about missing so much school , and Rousey decided to drop out of high school .
Things would start to look great for Rousey she qualified for the 2004 U.S. olympic team , and finished 9th in Athens that summer . That same year Ronda took home the gold at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championship in Budapest .
When Rousey returned home to California things slowly started to fall out of place .Rousey had a verbal disagreement with her mom and moved out living in Albany , Chicago , and Montreal before returning back home to California . Ronda struggled to make ends meet , she had to work in a vet’s office and gave judo lessons as well . It was still a hard task for her to pay the rent , so she decided to live in her car and got a gym at a 24 hour gym working the graveyard shift so she would have a place to shower and change .
Rousey would not stay down long though . In 2007 , Ronda reconnected with her coaches Jimmy Pedro Sr. , and his son Jimmy Pedro Jr. who helped her get back to training , and that season Ronda became the first U.S. female martial arts athlete in nearly 10 years to win an A-level tournament when she took the gold at the Birmingham World Cup in England . She also took home gold at the Pan American Games .
Her first year back Ronda proved to everyone that she wasn’t one to count out . At the age of 19 Rousey won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships becoming the first U.S. athlete in her sport to win two Junior World medals , and she also took home silver at the senior 2007 World Championship .
Ronda’s dream of going to the 2008 Olympics definitely came true . Rousey finished third in the 70 kilo category to win a bronze medal the first ever for Team USA in women’s judo , and took home the bronze medal overall in the judo category , this was the first medal ever for a U.S woman since judo became an official Olympic sport in 1992 .
After the 2008 Olympics , Rousey started seriously looking into MMA , at the time there wasn’t a women’s division in the sport . Rousey was determined to change that . She began training with a group of Armenian MMA fighters in Glendale. In 2010 female mixed martial artist were beginning to pop up on the men’s schedule .
Even though everyone Rousey knew tried talking her out of it , Rousey made her first official appearance as an amateur in the summer of 2010 . In her first match Rousey beat her opponent in 23 seconds , this would begin the start of Ronda’s career as MMA fighter , and make her a household name .
Rousey has competed in the UFC 190 ,187 ,157,168,184,170 ,and 175 . Rousey is known for her signature move the arm bar , and having her opponent tap out in the matter of seconds literally seconds . Her most recent fight on August 1 ,2015 lasted 34 seconds , and her fight this past March only lasted 9 seconds !
Rousey may dominate in the Octagon but she is making a name for herself outside of the ring as well , on the big screen . Rousey has played a role in three major movies within the last year playing in The Expandables 3 , Fast and Furious 7 , and Entourage as herself .
Rousey may come off as hardcore in the octagon , but she has a soft heart for those in need . Rousey has joined the campaign Free Rice which helps raise food for the hungry , she has helped donate over 278 million grains of rice to the World Food Programme . Rousey’s mom even shared about how her daughter host MMA clinics where all of the proceeds go to the Didi Hirsch Mental health clinic , and she also matches with a 5,000 donation of her own. Rousey’s mother said that her daughter will even get a van together gather up a van full of clothes for MMA For The Homeless all on her own .