Rising Judo Star Allan Is a 'Girlie Girl,' But She'll Throw You for a Loop
By Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 16, 2006; Page E01
Twenty judo players (judoka) circled to stretch and warm up, but Kristen Allan sat in the corner of the gym and sifted through her purse. She pulled out a small mirror and lifted it six inches from her face. "Ugh," Kristen said. "I so need makeup right now." She used a black brush to highlight her cheekbones. Then Kristen combed her long blonde hair away from her face and tightened her judo robe.
Momentarily content with her appearance -- there was, after all, a photographer at practice -- Kristen trotted onto the mat to greet her sparring partner, Leah Fisher. Kristen smiled and bowed. Then she picked up Fisher and twirled the 130-pound woman like a weightless baton, flipping her head over heels before slamming her into the ground. Kristen grunted with satisfaction, and her neck muscles bulged. Sweat trickled down her face...
Kristen worries about problems that most judoka hardly notice. She hates it when the combat sport leaves her knuckles gnarly and bruised. A doctor drains the blood clots that form in her ears to prevent cauliflower ear, an uncomfortable and unsightly deformation. She worries that her skull will change shape because it takes such consistent beatings.
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