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America’s first judo gold medalist












Q&A with America’s first Judo gold medalist




STEPHEN LYNCH Mixing music and comedy to perfection Suicide march is depressing

6 FASHION Brittany Barker reports on UC’s Seam Scene







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ELESE DANIEL | FOR THE VERGE MAGAZINE When 22-year-old Kayla Harrison defeated Great Britain’s Gemma Gibbons during her final match of the 2012 Summer Olympics, she became the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo. A Middletown, Ohio-native, Harrison now has a scholarship fund in which awards one high school senior $10,000 each year, making the hard work even more worthwhile for Harrison. Q: CAN YOU THINK BACK TO THE VERY FIRST JUDO CLASS YOU TOOK AND HOW EVERYTHING STARTED? Looking back I felt sort of anxious anticipation. I was excited and a little nervous, because I didn’t really know what judo was. And I’m a kid, so I didn’t want to look silly. But I got out there and it was so much fun. From the beginning, I remember running around on the mat like a crazy kid, just enjoying the entire class and being sad when it was over. Q: COULD YOU COMPARE YOUR VERY FIRST DAY OF JUDO TO THE MOMENT YOU RECEIVED YOUR OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL ON THE PODIUM? I felt the same sense of joy on the first day of my judo life and — up to this point — the last. I was just so happy

to be out there, doing what I loved on the highest stage in the world with all of my family and friends there to witness. I feel like that little girl made it. She was there with me in spirit. Q: WHERE DO YOU KEEP YOUR MEDAL? Well, right now it’s in my backpack, because I’m on my way to the airport to go to Florida to give a speech. I’m not wearing it, but I do take it for show and tell. Q: IT’S BEEN A DREAM OF YOURS, SINCE YOU WERE 6 YEARS OLD, TO BE THE BEST ATHLETE IN THE WORLD. WHEN DID THAT DREAM BECOME REALITY FOR YOU? I think that when I won the Worlds in 2010, the World Championships, I realized I am one of the best in the world. I am technically right now the best in the world. And I think that winning the World Championships only made me hungrier for the chance to become an Olympic champion. Supposedly the World Championships is a tougher tournament, because there are more people; anyone can show up and fight there, but the Olympics is a more prestigious tournament. To be able to win that — to be able to say for the next four years that I am the reigning Olympic champion is pretty intense. Q: IN JUDO, HOW LONG CAN SOMEONE COMPETE? Women usually peak in their mid-20s. I would probably be peaking at the next Olympics (Rio De Janeiro 2016). It just depends, you know. Judo is one of those awesome sports where you can go forever if your body is up to it, but it’s also one of those sports where you can get injured pretty easily. It is a contact sport; it’s a little rougher on the body. Q: BESIDES TRAINING, COMPETING AND WINNING, HOW DOES AN ATHLETE MAKE IT TO THE OLYMPICS? DO OLYMPIANS HAVE DAY JOBS? When I first moved here I did. I did anything you can imagine. I worked at a hardware store 50 hours a week. I walked dogs. I babysat. I was an assistant to an attorney. I did landscaping. I did pretty much anything that would pay the bills and keep a roof over my head. After I won the World Championships in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be selected by the Olympic committee to receive monthly stipends. I was able to start training fulltime. Q: WHAT DOES TRAINING FULLTIME CONSIST OF? WHAT WERE THE DAYS LIKE? I moved to Boston when I was 16 and I have been training seriously since then. On average I train about six to eight hours a day, plus getting to and from each workout adds about three hours of driving a day. Some days I start at 4 a.m. and don’t get home until 9 p.m. We do judo twice a day for about two hours each session, we lift five days a week for about two and a half hours, and we run three days a week. We do this fulltime while we’re not traveling.

When traveling, training can be more intense but less often, or the opposite, depending on where we are in the world. It was more intense overseas because they were training camps and we were going with the best athletes in the world, as hard as we could. But, the everyday grind of being home and training can be more mentally tough. Q: WHAT KINDS OF SACRIFICES ARE THERE TO BECOME AN OLYMPIC CHAMPION? I definitely didn’t grow up as a normal kid. I graduated high school online. I never walked in my graduation. I never went to prom. I moved away from my family when I was 16. I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with my brother and sister while they we growing up. I missed a lot of birthdays and stuff like that. I don’t have a ton of friends. I have my close hardcore friends that have been there through the thick and the thin of it and my teammates. That’s pretty much it. I’ve actually lived in Boston for six years and I’ve never gone out, like, to a night club or—like ever, in the six years that I’ve lived there. I’ve lived a pretty different life, but you know, for every sacrifice there’s something that you can gain. And I’ve done so many amazing things. I’ve seen the Mona Lisa. I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I’ve climbed Mount Fuji. I’ve been to the desert in Abu Dhabi. I’ve done so many amazing things and met so many amazing people. Missing my family is the hardest part for me. The prom and the school and all that — I’ve had so many more amazing experiences that I don’t really [sighs] — I consider my life a blessing. Q: I KNOW YOU MADE IT BACK TO YOUR HOMETOWN OF MIDDLETOWN, OHIO. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE YOUR OWN DAY AND KEY TO A CITY? It’s—really, really cool. For a minute, I felt like a real celebrity [laughs]. When I lived in Middletown I could go anywhere without being recognized. It’s pretty cool and really nice to be honored by them, to know that they support me, and that they care about what I’ve accomplished with my life. I think everyone wants to leave something behind them and I’m just so honored that I have a legacy there.

The Verge Magazine is an online publication geared toward young adults with a variety of interests. It can be read online at



LIFE & ARTS Clifton’s Esquire Theatre turns 101 Jerry Springer hosts the 101st birthday celebration Saturday BEN GOLDSCHMIDT | CHIEF REPORTER The Esquire Theatre celebrated its 101st birthday Saturday, and put on a nostalgic celebration hosted by television personality Jerry Springer. “You just don’t get it at the multiplex cinemas today,” Springer said. “Obviously they’re convenient because you go there and there are 20 movies you can choose from, but there’s not this sense of community that you get when you come to a theater like this. Saving these small theaters with history all around the country is so worth it — it isn’t just, ‘Gee, we like the architecture,’ it’s the whole concept of sharing a movie experience together.” Since its opening in 1911 — originally as an opera house — the Esquire has had its ups and downs on Ludlow Avenue. While many consider the theater to be a staple of the Clifton community, it almost became a Wendy’s in the 1980s. For four years, members of the community rallied together to stop its conversion to a fast food joint. After the community won a court battle against Wendy’s to keep the theater, the fast-food restaurant “brought in their big guns, appealed, and won,” said Marylin Harris, an Esquire shareholder.

The former owner of the theater grew tired of legal battles and decided to sell the property to approximately 25 Clifton shareholders, Harris said. Many of the shareholders attended the event, and a few of them recounted fond memories of the work it took to save the theater. “If everyone who worked on this project hadn’t contributed what they did contribute — in the way of time, in the way of talent, in the way of money, in the way of just being involved — we wouldn’t have made it,” said John Morrison, an Esquire shareholder. “If I were to list all the people who have helped us, who did help us, we’d be here all night.” Old black and white photos of various Cincinnati areas — including Ludlow — played on the theater’s screen. One picture really stood out. It was a cartoon by Jim Borgman of fast-food restaurants and corporate chains crowding Ludlow, with a man saying to his family in a car, “It all started with the Esquire.” Copies were given to some of the larger shareholders. “That is one way to become a part of Cincinnati history forever, I mean if Jim Borgman makes a cartoon of you, you’ve made it,” Springer said.

file art | the news record

SPRINGER STAYS LOCAL Jerry Springer talks about the advantages of supporting local movie theaters.

Sharon Van Etten capitvates Taft crowd

Folk artist Damien Jurado supports

Dylan McCartney | Senior Reporter

phil didion | chief photographer

SHARON SINGS THE BLUES Sharon Van Etten gives an intimate performance Thursday evening at Taft Theater’s Ballroom.

An evening of pensive folk music filled the basement of the Taft Theatre on Thursday, with Damien Jurado and Sharon Van Etten reminding concertgoers that a band doesn’t have to be loud to captivate an audience. Damien Jurado kicked off the night with an acoustic set of heart-wrenching hymns, discussing wistful love encounters and the woes of traveling. Between songs from his new album, “Maraqopa,” Jurado peppered the audience with his dry sense of humor, joking that his greatest hits would be called “Wrist-Cutting Anthems Vol. 1.” It was an intimate set of less than 150 people, and the road-weary Jurado was refreshingly candid with the audience, talking openly about how tiring his tour was and how while he was sick of playing the songs at this point, he never

grew tired of delivering his message to the fans. After Jurado’s tranquil set, Sharon Van Etten took the stage. Unlike Jurado, Van Etten was accompanied by a full band. Throughout her set, Van Etten used space between songs to tell the story of her life, attributing each song to a specific period — including her move to New York, a period of living in her parents’ basement and quitting smoking. Most of the tracks Van Etten performed were from her newest album “Tramp,” although she did play many from her 2010 album, “Epic.” Her voice echoed beautifully over the folk rock instrumentals and harmonies — provided by her backing group — and although the crowd was small, its appreciation for the Van Etten and Jurado was not.


KEITH BIERYGOLICK | MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Lynch is a walking, singing and guitar-playing contradiction. He always considered himself a musician trapped in a comedian’s body, but he doesn’t pledge allegiance to either form of entertainment. “The music world doesn’t really know who I am,” Lynch said, echoing that sentiment when asked about his status as a comedian. “I’m telling you, I’m not really in the comedy world. I live in Michigan. I don’t live in either coast. I spend most of my time listening to music, not comedy.” Lynch grew up in the world of theater and does write songs that aren’t funny, but he never aspired to be a singer/songwriter. “I knew I always wanted to play music. That was always going to be a part of my life,” Lynch said.“I was in bands in college and would write my songs in my room alone at night, but I never really dreamt of making it in the music business — that wasn’t an issue for me, it was just something I enjoyed doing.” He began performing humorous songs at clubs and underground music venues in Manhattan after moving to New York in 1996. Lynch made it big by using his angelic, choirboy voice to push the envelope with songs about “Special” friends (“I’d play soldier/ He’d eat dirt/ I liked math, and the spelling bee/ Ed liked talking to a tree) and a “Gerbil” used for unsavory purposes (“I bought a gerbil at the petting zoo / If Richard Gere can do it I can too”) That was 10 years ago though, and while Lynch still pushes the envelope with COURTESY OF DALE MAY outrageous songs, there’s more than a hint of musicality to them now — something NOT JUST A COMEDIAN Stephen Lynch released his fifth album Nov. 13, Lynch readily admits. “I realize that I wrote most of the old material, at least from the first two-and-a- showcasing a more mature musical sound — without forgetting about the laughs. half records, when I was so young. I was probably a teenager or in my early 20s,” Lynch said. “So it gives me sort of douche-chills when I listen to them now because I’m definitely a different person from who I was back then.” think that symbol in Japanese/ Means strength or honor/ Ni**a please/ It means queer He won’t admit to getting lazy the past few years, but he does confess to feeling tattoo.” comfortable — if only because his formula worked so well on his first albums. The Earlier in his career, “Tattoo” would have been about gay tattoos, but now it’s about difference in his fifth album, “Lion,” (released Nov. 13) is he finally accepted who he tattoos in line with the literal meaning of the word — odd or bad. is — a musician with a schoolboy’s voice who plays entertaining songs. “You know what I decided when I wrote that song, I decided for too long the word “It took me a long time to sort of figure out what kind of musician I was,” Lynch queer has been domain of the bullies, the bigots and the homophobes of the world. I’m said. “That’s why I took so long to write this record, because I taking that shit back,” Lynch said. “I’m going to restore it to its wanted to do it right this time … I wanted it to be the kind of thing original glory, because that is such a great word.” “It gives me sort of doucheI would listen to if I hadn’t written it myself.” Even with his newfound maturity, old habits die hard — Lynch’s latest album could be considered his most mature. For chills to listen to my old especially on the song “No Meat,” which is about Lynch’s a lot of artists, that maturation process is a dreaded one. After all, recently adopted vegan lifestyle. records now because I’m a nobody wants to hear Green Day sing about teenage rebellion “A handful of trail mix, mmmm what a treat/ How about some totally different person from when all the band members are close to 40 years old. soy-yogurt served in a bowl?/ I’d rather eat a hobo’s asshole,” he While Lynch is 41, his music — and audience — has grown sang. who I was back then.” with him. The song also provides the album’s best line, one which “There’s a chance that some people will be like, ‘You’re not hopefully will be adopted by meat-lovers nationwide, when singing songs about gerbils in your ass’ but that’s OK,” Lynch said. — Stephen Lynch Lynch sings, “Tofurky tofu** yourself/ I want some meat.” “They don’t have to like it. There will hopefully be other people Despite the sometimes-crude lyrics, “Lion” is a step forward who will.” for Lynch. He admits most guitar-comedians get a bad rep — That acceptance of growth and maturation has again left Lynch at a crossroads “And rightfully so, because most of the time it’s really awful.” But that’s not what Lynch between what people expect of him, and what he actually wants to do. aspires to do. “I’m not trying to write a jazz fusion record, but I’m also trying not to write 13 “I don’t consider myself a guitar-comedian because my goal isn’t to make people novelty songs,” Lynch said. “It’s sort of a doubly hard task to not only try to write a laugh by using a guitar as a prop. I’m just a songwriter who happens to have an end good song, but then lyrically you have to garner a certain response from people, which goal of being funny when I play my songs,” Lynch said. “To me, it’s always about the is laughter — and if you don’t, then it doesn’t matter how good the song is, it’s sort of song, and it’s all about the songwriting and the craftsmanship of the song. That has to a failure.” be there. If not, you’re just a guy who can get up on stage and do a parody of a song Obviously Lynch believes what he’s saying, because “Lion” presents a very different or an impression of somebody.” animal than his first few records. In the album’s opening track, “Tattoo,” he sings, “You With “Lion,” Lynch proves to be much more than that.


Mixing music and comedy






1. RACHEL MCNEIL Fashionable DAAP student Rachel is too cute in her oversized lilac sweater, paired with cuffed denim skinnies. Rachel turns heads for all the right reasons with her show stopping cherry red boots. Her outfit is completed with green and tortoise shell rimmed frames, and a floppy red hat. 3. BRITTANY BARKER (ME!) I decided to represent some of my favorite fall/winter trends today just for the seam scene! Peter pan collared tops are so chic and versatile. I paired my peter pan collared blouse with a matte sequined sweater from banana Republic. I tucked my sweater in slightly to show off my bow-adorned belt. To complete the look I threw on some dark brown jodhpur pants from J. Crew.


2. CARRIS LAMMERS Carris stays toasty on a chilly November day in a monogram adorned cardigan layered over a sky blue top. She proves that an elegant neutral skirt worn over tights can be a great alternative to pants and leggings. Carris completes her look with a dainty cream lace scarf, and beige leather boots. Her darling red hair and big smile are great accessories too!


Extra 11.14.12  
Extra 11.14.12  

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