The U.S. has competed in judo since it was introduced to the Olympics in 1964 for men, while it gained official medal status for women in 1992.
The 22-year-old Harrison, however, was hardly a longshot for a podium finish in London. She already had two World Championships medals to her credit, with the most notable one being the gold in 2010.
Shockingly, Japan has not won a men's judo gold in 2012 and may leave an Olympics without one for the first time ever.
Germany's Dmitri Peters and Henk Grol of the Netherlands earned the bronze medals.
Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from tomorrow's final day of judo competition in London.