When Kano Jigoro first broke away from his jujutsu origins to found the art of judo, it was with multiple intentions. First and foremost was to establish a superior art incorporating the best aspects from his previous training in arts such as Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and Kito Ryu. He began offering and accepting challenges to various koryu schools to demonstrate his superiority, where he was very successful. It must be noted however, that these contests took place during the decline of martial arts in Japan as they rapidly tried to assimilate to Western culture. Therefore, his students were not facing the upper echelon of martial artists that Japan had to offer compared to when martial arts was at its height. Another interesting factor in Kano's success was his star fighter, Saigo Shiro, was a noted Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu practitioner and used techniques from his previous training (notably yama arashi) instead of the modified techniques of the Kodokan to win most of his matches. Regardless, the Kodokan achieved great popularity and Kano set out to have his art taught to schools across the country. In order to do this, he had to pass it off as a sport rather than an art of war.
As various judo schools began focusing on competition rather than technical prowess, kata began to be practiced less in favor of randori. The full transition from martial art to sport was realized in 1964 when judo first appeared in the Olympic Games. When judo was accepted into the Olympics, even more schools began putting technique second over randori efficiency. The advanced principles of off-balancing and subtlety were replaced with brute force, and over time judo evolved into another form of wrestling. In fact, modern judo resembles wrestling so closely that they had to institute a new rule that you cannot grab an opponent below the waist to assist in throwing them. This forces judoka to stand upright and attempt more "traditional" throws.
By comparison, the video at left shows Mifune Kyuzo using superior technique and understanding of principle to defeat judoka who are half his age and more athletic. Mifune is considered one of the greatest judoka of all time, earning 9th dan directly under Kano in 1937 and 10th Dan from the Kodokan in 1945. He was the fourth of only 18 people to ever be awarded 10th Dan in judo by the Kodokan. Notice how softly Mifune moves compared to the pushing, shoving and use of brute force displayed in the clip on the right.
The United States has only sent six competitors as part of the Olympic Judo team, so what I don't understand is why the entire art in this country has to suffer for those six competitors. It's the same for Olympic Taekwondo (four competitors). Pure, old school judo has so much to offer and is a highly technical martial art. What we're left with today is a shell of what judo once was.
The Olympics aren't over yet, and I can only hope that somewhere we'll see an athlete who embodies the spirit of what judo should've been. If Mifune's demonstration isn't convincing enough, let me leave you with this. When Kano Jigoro visited Ueshiba Morihei's dojo to observe his class in October 1930, he praised Ueshiba with the comment "This is my ideal budo."