570: Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi
Pioneer and Mother of Women’s Judo
Born: 30 July 1935, Coney Island, New York, United States of America
Died: 21 November 2009, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
Rusty fought for over two decades to get women’s judo recognized as an Olympic sport. Eventually, she would coach the US Olympic Women’s Judo Team.
Her fight to get women’s judo recognized began in 1959 after she won a championship (while dressed like a man) and was stripped of her medal after the organizer asked her if she was a woman.
In 2019, a street in Rusty’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York, was renamed in her honor.
Find a Grave Marked