Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

No Holds Barred: Kayla Harrison, Rau'Shee Warren, Diana Lopez, Marlen Esparza, Myles Porter, Marcus Browne 

(Photo of Kayla Harrison and Myles Porter by Chris Skelley, photo of Road to London in Times Square courtesy of USOC)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with six amazing combat sports athletes from Team USA who are preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.

Kayla Harrison was a 2010 world champion in judo and a 2011 world bronze medalist at 78 kg. She will be competing in her first Olympic Games this year.

Rau'Shee Warren was a 2007 world champion in amateur boxing at flyweight. He will be the first American boxer to compete in three Olympics, and is going for his first Olympic medal.

Diana Lopez, a member of the legendary Lopez family of taekwondo fighters, was a 2005 world champion at featherweight and a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 57 kg. She will be joining her older brother, Steven Lopez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in taekwondo.

Marlen Esparza has the distinction of being one of the members of the first group of women boxers who will compete in an Olympic Games, since women's boxing will be on the Olympic Program for the first time this year. She actually had to move up in weight to make the team at flyweight, since there will be only three weight classes in women's boxing at the 2012 Olympics.

Myles Porter, who is legally blind, will be competing in judo at 100 kg at the 2012 Paralympic Games, which take place August 29-September 9 in London. He is a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is also highly ranked among sighted judokas in the U.S.

Marcus Browne is the top American amateur boxer in the light heavyweight division, and hopes to qualify that weight for the U.S. in an upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament so he will be eligible to fight in the 2012 Olympics. A three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, this would be his first Olympics.

All these interviews were conducted April 18 during the U.S. Olympic Committee's Road to London Celebration in Times Square in New York, marking 100 days until the start of the 2012 Olympics. At this event, all these athletes also demonstrated for the public the techniques of their arts and disciplines.

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