Personal: The first U.S. woman to win a medal at the Olympic games since women's judo became a medal sport in 1992, Rousey won a bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games on the heels of her silver medal finsih at the 2007 World Championships.
Rousey was one of the youngest medalists at both events - a feat she's become used to as one of the most promising young judo players in the world.
At just 17, Ronda qualified for her first Olympic Team, becoming the youngest judo player in the entire Games. The reigning Pan American and U.S. judo champion in the 63kg division, Ronda expected that she would compete in the Olympics, but never considered that it would be in Athens - she even named her cat Beijing after the 2008 host city.
After claiming the top finish for the U.S. women at the Olympic Games (ninth), Ronda became only the second U.S. athlete ever to win a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary
Although many members of the Team USA come from "judo families," Ronda's is one of the most pedigreed as mother AnnMaria, was the first-ever American to win the World Judo Championships in 1984. Originally a competitive swimmer, Ronda grew tired of the sport and at age 11 persuaded her mother to let her to do judo. AnnMaria was hesitant in allowing Ronda to try judo, worried that expectations would be high, but acquiesced. From the beginning Ronda exceeded all expectations and has risen through the ranks in an unprecedented fashion.
In April 2006, Ronda made history again, becoming the first U.S. female athlete in nearly 10 years to win an A-Level event as she went 5-0 to claim gold at the Birmingham World Cup in Great Britain. Later that year, the 19-year-old won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, becoming the first U.S. athlete ever to win two Junior World medals after her gold medal win in 2004.
In February 2007, Ronda moved up to 70kg where she became a dominant force in the division and will be one of the top players to watch as she sets her eyes on her goal of becoming the first U.S. player to win Olympic gold at the 2012 Games.