Linda (Richardson) Sarno started judo at age 14 in 1971 along with her 16 year old sister,
Carolyn at Judo Inc, with Norman Miller. Eight weeks later they both vanished. Three months
later they both came back. Carolyn did well in judo, but quit two years later.
Within a year of starting judo, Linda won the USJA Jr. Nationals in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During
her seven years of active competition she took 1 st place in more than 90% of the 100+
tournaments she entered.
In 1974 at age 17 she won a bronze medal at the British Open in London, England. In 1977 she
was chosen #1 female USA Judo athlete by Black Belt Magazine. Her selection was based on
her 18 month undefeated streak in which she won the AAU Senior Nationals, USJA Nationals,
Desert Classic, East Coast Championship, US Open, British Open and Pan American
In 1977 and 1978 Linda was a guest instructor at Camp Seihoku in Spokane, Washington. She
also taught classes in several suburban Milwaukee recreation departments and assisted
coaching at Judo Inc.
At the Senior Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona, Linda suffered a serious collar bone fracture in a loss
to Diane Pierce. Diane was the top woman competitor in the US and a friend of Linda's.
At the advice of her coach, Norman Miller, Linda avoided competing in the same weight division
as Diane for a couple of years. Eventually they fought in the same division again and Linda was
successful in beating her in three different tournaments. This was one of Linda's proudest
accomplishments as no one else has ever defeated Diane three times.
Realizing that judo was not about to be an Olympic sport for women, Linda curtailed her
competitive training to pursue college and marriage. In 1985 she entered and won a few local
tournaments and then entered and won the Ladder Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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