Tamyra Mensah-Stock celebrates after winning her gold-medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Women’s wrestling is a relatively recent Olympic sport, with its first matches taking place in 2004, and the United States has been a present competitor in the sport since it first began in Athens. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics conclude, Team USA’s women’s freestylers proved that they are better than ever before and a force to be reckoned with in women’s wrestling.
Before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there had been five Olympic medals in women’s freestyle for Team USA: bronze medals from Patricia Miranda in the 2004 Greece Olympics, Randi Miller in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Clarissa Chun in the 2012 London Olympics, a silver medal from Sara McMann in the 2004 Greece Olympics, and a gold medal from Helen Maroulis, who became the first woman from Team USA to win a gold medal in women’s wrestling at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Here are the U.S. women’s freestyle teams for the past five Olympic games.
2004 Olympics- Athens, Greece
Patricia Miranda, 2004 (Athens, Greece), W.F., 48 kg, 3rd
Tela O’Donnell, 2004 (Athens, Greece), W.F., 55 kg., 6th
Sara McMann, 2004 (Athens, Greece), W.F., 63 kg, 2nd
Toccara Montgomery, 2004 (Athens, Greece), W.F., 72 kg., 7th
2008 Olympics- Beijing, China
Clarissa Chun, 2008 (Beijing, China), W.F., 48 kg, 5th
Marcie Van Dusen, 2008 (Beijing, China), W.F., 55 kg, 9th
Randi Miller, 2008 (Beijing, China), WF, 63 kg, 3rd
Ali Bernard, 2008 (Beijing, China), W.F., 72 kg, 5th
2012 Olympics- London, England
Clarissa Chun, 2012 (London, England), W.F., 48 kg., 3rd
Kelsey Campbell, 2012 (London, England), W.F., 55 kg., dnp
Elena Pirozhkova, 2012 (London, England), WF, 63 kg., dnp
Ali Bernard, 2012 (London, England), W.F., 72 kg., dnp
2016 Olympics- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Haley Augello, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), W.F., 48 kg, 9th
Helen Maroulis, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), WF, 53 kg, 1st
Elena Pirozhkova, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), WF, 63 kg, 5th
Adeline Gray, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), W.F., 75 kg, 7th
2021 Olympics- Tokyo, Japan
Sarah Hildebrant, 2020 (Toyko, Japan) 50 kg, 3rd
Jacarra Winchester, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan) 53 kg, 5th
Helen Maroulis, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan) 57 kg, 3rd
Kayla Miracle, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan)62 kg, 12th
Tamyra Mensah-Stock, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan), 68 kg, 1st
Adeline Gray, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan), 76 kg, 2nd
Five Olympic Games after women’s wrestling first became an Olympic sport in 2004, the USA women’s wrestling freestyle team is still making history. The team has won four more medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: one gold, one silver, and two bronze.
On Monday, Adeline Gray won the first medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for USA Women’s Wrestling, a silver medal at 76 kg. Gray fought hard and had a strong finish but could not combat her opponent Aline Rotter-Focken’s early lead, with the German wrestler taking the match 7-3 and cinching the gold medal.
On Tuesday, Tamrya Mensah-Stock became the first Black woman to win gold for USA wrestling in the women’s 68-kilogram final. This is only the second U.S. Women’s Wrestling gold medal in history, with Helen Maroulis winning in the 53 kg division in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Maroulis won her second medal, a bronze, in the 57 kg division on Thursday, becoming the first woman in history to earn two Olympic medals for the United States.
Finally, Sarah Hildebrant won the bronze medal match in the 50 kg division on Saturday, bringing the medal total for women’s wrestling to four and the overall total for USA wrestling for the Tokyo Olympics to nine.
Women’s wrestling is a fast-growing sport in the United States at the high school level. Thirty-two states have sanctioned women’s wrestling, and participation will no doubt see a boost after these history-making Olympic Games. If there’s anything that the recent success of U.S. women’s wrestling on the international stage has proved, it’s that the sport is only getting bigger and better and is here to stay.