The Norman Transcript

Headlines

October 22, 2013

Moore woman working toward 2016 Olympics

NORMAN — The petite, brunette young woman with a bright smile behind the counter at Norman’s Auto Valet car wash hardly looks like a judo champion working to get to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

But 21-year-old Kayla Chappell, of Moore, has been on several world teams and is moving to Colorado Springs, Colo., in about two weeks to train at the state-of-the-art U.S. Olympic Training Complex.

Chappell first began training in judo when she was 7. The judo black belt trains with two-time Olympian Patrick Burris and his wife, Kristi Burris, an Olympic team runner-up, at the USA Stars gym in Moore.

“I was a little girl with a big bow,” she said. “I wanted to do wrestling because I have all brothers. I loved grappling and wrestling.”

But there was no place on a wrestling team for a young girl. Judo was another matter.

Chappell spends two to four hours five or six days a week at the gym, when she’s not studying as a pre-med student at Oklahoma City Community College — although she’s taking a semester off to further her Olympic dream.

“You don’t have a normal life,” said Bronte Dake, Chappell’s training partner, best friend and roommate, referring to Chappell’s focus and dedication in the gym.

Chappell has been the top-ranked judo athlete in the country several years in the 52-kilo weight class, which translates to about 114 pounds. She now competes in the 57-kilo weight class, about 126 pounds. Chappell competed on two junior world teams in 2010 and 2011, competed in the adult world championships as a teenager and has dozens of trophies and medals.

Chappell has been looking for a job in Colorado to help support her quest, but the sport requires about $40,000 to $50,000 a year for traveling the world to compete and earn points that will qualify her to be on the U.S. Olympic team. She has competed in cities ranging from Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Cape Town, South Africa.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 8:20 a.m. larceny report, 2000 block of West Lindsey Street · 9:04 a.m. stolen vehicle, 3400 block of Bart Conner Drive · 9:11 a.m. larceny report, 1200 block of Ed ...

    July 30, 2014