COLORADO SPRINGS — We are getting closer to the Tokyo Olympics and USA Wrestling is preparing for the big games and USA Wrestling is looking forward to competing in Tokyo.
Lakewood, Colorado native, Adeline Gray fell in love with the sport of wrestling at a young age. The wrestler says her father was a wrestling coach and he helped to inspire her to pursue a career that many young girls weren’t trying at that time.
And over the years, Gray has had a lot of success with wrestling. The women’s heavyweight wrestler is a five-time world champion and a two-time world bronze medalist. She says wrestling has helped her live out her dream of being a strong woman. She says it is nice to see organizations like USA Wrestling and the non-profit, Wrestle Like a Girl, pave the way for females.
“We don’t need to be 100 pounds in order to be considered an athlete as a woman. We can be big, and strong, and powerful. These young girls get to learn that about themselves and it's really, really special. I’m very happy that USA Wrestling and kind of the whole United States is getting on board with female sports getting more highlighted, getting more opportunities,” said Gray.
One thing is certain. Gray has shown that girls can have a lot of success through wrestling.
Gray is the First and only U.S. wrestler to win five career Senior World titles. Gray is the only U.S. woman to win World titles at the Senior, University, and Junior levels and she says she is looking forward to competing, along with her teammates.
Sarah Hildebrant is excited to be competing in her first Olympics. Sarah is a 2018 world silver medalist, a two-time Final X champion, and a Four-time Pan American Championships champion. She has also won several awards over the years, including the 2018 USA Wrestling Women’s Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler at the 2018 Pan American Championship. Still, she says nothing has compared to the feeling of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. She says the delay of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was stressful but has also provided its benefits for Team USA.
“You know, how could we find positives from that year? What can we do to make improvements in that year? I think that our whole team has done that and now that we’ve had this extra time to prepare, we’re even more ready now than we would’ve been in 2020,” said Hildebrant.
Sarah is proud to represent Team USA. She is one of 15 qualified wrestlers, men and women competing for USA Wrestling and presenting us in Tokyo.