2008-08-06 03:06:29 MST
By RANDY SPORTAK
The news nearly left Carol Huynh speechless.
Within days of leaving for the Olympics, the wrestler from Calgary was
informed Sports Illustrated listed her as a medal favourite among the magazine's
Huynh, SI claimed, would win bronze in the 48-kilogram class of women's
"Really? Oh. Wow," she said. "That's nice. Gold would be better, but that's
good to know. I'll have to pick one up."
She meant a magazine, although it's not remotely far-fetched she'll also pick
up some hardware in Beijing.
Huynh's surprised reaction all but sums up her belief in her ability.
The 27-year-old who competes out of the Dino Wrestling Club has always had
the ability to contend on the world stage. The one silver and two bronze medals
she's garnered over six world championships attests to it.
"She's the whole package," said national women's wrestling team coach Leigh
Vierling. "She's a great athlete, quick and agile.
"I'm really expecting big things from her. She just needs to realize how good
And therein lies the rub.
Huynh, originally from the town of Hazelton, B.C., and a standout at Simon
Fraser University before relocating to Calgary a few years ago, has a nasty
habit of selling herself -- and her abilities -- short.
She's certainly heard it from Vierling before.
"He tells me that all the time," Huynh said. "I do realize I am pretty
athletic and have what it takes to win the gold medal and all that sort of
"But I definitely need to work on believing that all the time instead of here
That's why in the final months leading up to the Beijing Games, Huynh's
preparation has been nearly as much about the mental game as physical training.
"Telling myself I can win, I can be at the top of the podium, that sort of
thing," says the humble grappler.
Although this year is Huynh's first time competing at the Olympics, this
won't be her first trip to the Games. In 2004, she went as a training partner
for Lyndsay Belisle, who defeated Huynh for the berth on Canada's team.
At the time, Huynh wasn't thrilled to be going to Athens and not competing,
but the experience has helped prepare her for this time.
"I am very thankful for having that experience -- I'm sure it will be
different (in Beijing)," said Huynh, who has a degree in psychology and spends
much of her time volunteering with the Calgary Counselling Centre and Families
Who knows? Maybe that inside knowledge will make the difference in her
winning a medal.
Much of the world believes she can do it. Now, Huynh just has to.
"I've been to the world championships six times, and every time I've been in
the top five or six. I do realize I have a very good shot at being at the podium
and know I have the ability to be at the top," she said. "That really excites
me. It makes me very nervous, but I'm trying not to put too much pressure on
"I'm trying to go into this that it's for me and I'm not doing it for
"This is something I've been working towards for a decade and don't want to
put the pressure of other peoples' expectations on me."
18:59 AEST Wed Aug 6 2008
Over the next couple of
weeks Kyla Bremner will do her best to damage a few bodies.
When she returns to Australia after the Beijing Olympics, she will
do everything she can to mend them.
Bremner is Australia's first female Olympic wrestler, something
she is immensely proud of, and something that prompts considerable
She is also a doctor and will begin her residency at Sydney's
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital after the Games.
Bremner, 31, acknowledges that her sport is one of the more
misunderstood in the Olympic spectrum.
Unlike the popular perception of wrestlers as hulking brutes who
attempt to look as ugly and menacing as possible, she is a diminutive 48kg and
has never leapt over the top rope or wrestled in jelly.
One reason is that in amateur wrestling there are no ropes, few theatrics and
But that doesn't stop the tired old comments being trotted out, mainly by
males, when she is out with friends.
"I try not to tell people for a while that I'm a wrestler because you get the
standard responses," Bremner said.
"People say `you don't look like a wrestler', guys offer to fight you.
"There's a lot of silly jokes."
For all that, the Canadian-born Bremner finds her sport immensely
"Wrestling isn't for everyone, but it is definitely for some people," she
"You have to be pretty fit, it's a really intense kind of sport.
"You have a six minute match where it's all go."
It is also a sport in which almost anyone can participate.
"It's good for small people," she said.
"I'm one of the smallest on the Australian team."
Bremner, whose mother is Australian and father Canadian, began wrestling in
Canada at the age of 17.
After coming to Australia with her family 12 years ago she gave
the sport away for a couple of years, taking it up again while studying medicine
at Sydney University.
She just missed selection in the inaugural women's Olympic
competition in 2004.
In an effort to make sure of her selection for Beijing, she went
to Germany earlier this year to train.
As she prepares for her first bout, Bremner has been working at
keeping her emotions steady and maintaining her focus.
But it isn't always a simple exercise.
"I'm excited everyday, all of the time," she said.
Which is a lot of excitement considering her first bout won't be
until Saturday week.
Published: August 05, 2008 11:00 AM
August 05, 2008 11:46 AM
Daniel Igali is heading once more to the Olympics – not as a competitor, but
as a technical director and mentor to a pair of young wrestling hopefuls from
his native Nigeria.
And in some ways, the SFU graduate student is more nervous coaching the two
young men than he was in 2000 when he won the gold medal for Canada in freestyle
competition (69 kg.).
“I feel so much for these young wrestlers, what they are going through and
the dreams they have,” says Igali, who arrived in South Korea this week after
spending time in Nigeria with the wrestlers.
The pair will train for two weeks in South Korea before competing at the Aug.
8-24 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Twenty-nine-year-old Wilson Seiwari (120 kg.) is a two-time African champion
in freestyle wrestling, who comes from the Niger Delta region close to where
Igali grew up.
Young female wrestler Amarachi Obiajuwan (72 kg.), who is only 19, found
success early and already has two African championships under her belt. She is
from the eastern part of the Niger Delta.
Igali places both somewhere “in the middle of the pack” with strong potential
to shine in competition.
“They are working really hard and have done well in Africa – they are doing
everything right and we’re taking it one step at a time.”
Igali and the wrestlers recently spent a week at the University of Guelph
training and competing. They were allowed entry into Canada after initially
being denied visas (along with four others on the Nigerian team) to compete in
May at an Olympic qualifying event in Edmonton, and train at Simon Fraser
University, where Igali had hoped they could gain from the veteran eye of coach
“It would have been great experience for them,” says Igali, whose protests to
the government eventually enabled the stint at Guelph.
Igali has spent the past two years fine-tuning the operations of the school
he established in his home village of Eniwari - an involvement that has kept him
returning to Nigeria often.
That has meant ample opportunity to promote his sport and work with local
“Working with these young Olympic hopefuls has been a wonderful opportunity,”
says Igali, who will continue to promote the sport in Canada and
internationally. He is one of the featured Olympians in Canadian Olympic School
program introduced this past spring (see www.olympicschool.ca)
Igali plans to keep an Olympic diary as he did at both the 2000 and 2004
games. The diary will be posted in August on his website, www.igali.com
8/5/2008 9:30:52 PM
Sports : Summer
Molokai wrestlers Kawika Kaahanui, Jireh Torres-Umi and Justina Luafalemana
recently represented Team Hawaii in the Junior National Championships in North
Dakota on July 19-22.
The tournament saw the best young wrestling talent at one of the biggest
wrestling tournament in the world.
In the 285-pound Greco class, Kaahunui was 2-2 with wins over Texas and Iowa
wrestlers and losses against Minnesota and California wrestlers.
Also in the Greco class, in the 135-pound weight division Torres-Umi was 0-2
losing out to Wisconsin and Iowa wrestlers. In the freestyle event Haahunui was
1-2 winning his match-up against an Idaho wrestler before falling victim to
Wisconsin and Iowa. Torres-Umi was 0-2 in the freestyle losing out to opponents
from Missouri and Pennsylvania.
For Kaahunui it also gave him an opportunity to hook up with the coach from
Colorado State University at Pueblo. Kaahunui is set to attend the CSU later
“We talked about what I did well and what I need to work on,” said Kaahunui.
“Justina and Kawaika did really well. It was unfortunate for Umi who was
unable to get over and train earlier as he would have been more successful,”
said John Robinson, one of the coaches for Team Hawaii. “The competition is very
fierce every year with multiple state champs, national champs and with a blind
draw you can really face anyone in the early matches,” added Robinson.
After losing out in the women’s freestyle individual event to Puerto Rico and
Michigan competitors, Luafalemana won four matchups out of five including wins
over California, Kansas and Texas in the women’s freestyle dual championship.
Luafalemana and the girls Team Hawaii finished in third place for the event.
“I learnt a lot. It was a good experience and a new thing for me,” said
By Chris Fischer
August 5, 2008
At St. James high school on a Tuesday wrestlers take to the mat. All the
grapplers spar against their own weight class with partners around their own
age. Yet not all the wrestlers at the Grand Strand Wrestling Club are male.
Allow me to introduce Mackenzie Tecco, at nine years old Mackenzie is
following in her Father Tony and Brother Kyle’s footsteps. Kyle currently
wrestles for the Sharks at the 112 lb. weight class, while Tony wrestled in high
school in his native Ohio.
“She watched the high school practicing, and watched coach (Matt) Anderson,
she had natural ability and I just let her go with it,” said Father Tony Tecco.
“Every one thinks I’m small, cause I’m the smallest person in my class, they
don’t think I’m the strongest person. So I started wrestling,” said Mackenzie.
Mackenzie’s natural ability shined through right away, beating every boy she
went up against in her first tournament. The fourth grader captured the gold
medal at the Summerville Classic earlier this year.
Yet wrestling is worth more than gold to Mackenzie, a year ago she was
diagnosed with Celiac disease.
The disease debilitates the digestive system from breaking down wheat, barley
and rye. The strict regimented diet a wrestler utilizes to stay in their weight
class works perfectly with Mackenzie’s daily life.
“Being a wrestler builds her confidence that she needs,” said Shawna Tecco.
“The individualistic sport of wrestling helps her; she’s the only child in
the area that has this disease.”
Mackenzie builds that confidence every time she’s involved in competition.
The 9 year old often dismisses the snickers and hazing of being called a boy,
but she is one to quickly silence her critics’ weather they’re a parent or an
opponent. Mackenzie usually is the one walking away with a smile, while her
opponent leaves with some resentment.
“They get mad when they get pinned by a girl.”
For more information on the Grand Strand Wrestling Club: Please contact St.
James Wrestling Coach Matt Anderson at St. James High School. The club meets on
Tuesday and Thursday night from 5-7 p.m.
In the photo: U.S. Olympian Clarissa Chun arrives at the Beijing airport on
Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Craig Sesker.
here for Olympic photo gallery
BEIJING, China - A second United
States Olympic wrestling team has landed in China.
The four-member U.S.
women's freestyle team arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon. U.S. wrestlers
Clarissa Chun, Marcie Van Dusen, Randi Miller and Ali Bernard made it into China
after a 12-plus hour flight from San Francisco to China.
"It feels great
to be here," Chun said. "The trip actually went faster than I thought it would.
I'm excited to finally be in Beijing."
Among the other Olympians on their
flight were tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
"We actually went
through the ambassador program with them in San Jose," Chun said. "We talked to
them a little bit and took a picture with them. I was starstruck."
U.S. Greco-Roman team has been here since last Saturday. The U.S. men's
freestyle team is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Thursday
The U.S. wrestlers in all three styles are scheduled to take
part in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday. The women's team will hold its first
practice Thursday morning before taking part in a press conference in the
The U.S. women will compete in Beijing on Aug.
The U.S. women's team has a new look this year. There are no
World-level medalists on the team. Chun and Van Dusen have each made one World
Team while Miller and Bernard are on their first World-level team. Each American
wrestler beat a World medalist en route to winning the Olympic
"Our girls are looking very good," U.S. National Coach Terry
Steiner said. "I've been really happy with their training, I've been really
happy with their attitude and I've been really happy with their focus. I think
This is the second time in the Olympics for women's
wrestling. The U.S. won a silver medal and a bronze medal when women's wresting
made its Olympic debut at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
weary travel party, which also included coaches and training partners, was
headed to the Olympic Village and Beijing Normal University to get some rest
late Wednesday afternoon.
"It's exciting to be here, and we're excited to
see how well our team does," U.S. Team Leader Stan Zeamer said. "We think we
have a potential gold medalist in every weight."
|The 2008 USA Wrestling Women's World Team
Trials is set to take place Sept. 19-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Weigh-ins and medical checks will take place
Sept. 19 from 2:45-3:30 p.m.
Competition will be held Saturday, Sept. 20
starting at 10 a.m. Session length will be determined based on the number of
This event will determine the team that will compete at the
2008 World Championships, which will only be held for women's
Registration for the Women's World Team Trials is now open.
The deadling to register is August 27 at 11:59 p.m. CST. To register visit: TrackWrestling.com.
Participants must renew or purchase
a 2009 USA Wrestling Membership to be eligible to participate in the 2008
Women?s Freestyle World Team Trials.
The 2008 Senior World Championships
for women's freestyle will be held October 11-13, in Tokyo, Japan. Competition
will be held in all seven women?s weights.
Updated information will be
provided at TheMat.com as it becomes available.
Posted on August 6th, 2008 by
With the Beijing Games just a few days away, I thought I’d post a Canadian
Olympic preview so you guys know when to set your alarm clocks. I’m only going
to mention the athletes who have legitimate shots at medals, so don’t expect to
see any Canadian baseball or boxing in this preview. Sports Illustrated has
predicted that Canada will win 15 medals and I pretty much agree with that. Best
case scenario, we’re looking at about 22 medals, while the worst case could
result in as few as 6 or 7. A lot of countries have caught up to Canada in
medal-rich events like rowing and China has made massive investments in their
athletic programs leading up to these games. The Chinese should edge the
Americans in medals as long as they don’t crumble under the pressure. Onto the
Tanya Verbeek (Women’s 55kg), Carol Huynh (Women’s 48kg), Martine
Dugrenier (Women’s 63kg)
- If everything goes right, 3 of Canada’s 4 women should take home a medal of
some sort. Tanya Verbeek, the pride of Brock University, is the best medal hope
of all. She won silver in Athens and looks to do one medal better this time.
Women’s 55kg and 48kg - August 16th, 4am….Women’s 63kg - August
Roosevelt alum is first wrestler from Hawaii to earn trip to
At the U.S. Olympic wrestling team trials in June, Clarissa Chun, a
diminutive athlete from Hawai'i, gained the admiration of fans and media alike
by staging a huge upset of seven-time national champion and 2004 Olympic bronze
medalist Patricia Miranda.
In the process, Chun, who stands 4 feet 11, fulfilled a lifelong dream,
becoming the first wrestler from Hawai'i to qualify for a U.S. Olympic team.
"I was so overwhelmed after I won the trials," Chun said in a USA Wrestling
story. "I was so excited, happy, everything. I thought I was going to cry, but I
didn't ... To be able to perform like that was amazing."
Chun will compete in the 48-kilogram (105.5 pounds) division in the women's
Chun, a 1999 Roosevelt graduate from Kapolei, is making her first trip to the
Olympics as a competitor after traveling to Athens as an alternate in 2004.
Chun won state wrestling titles for the Rough Riders in her junior and senior
seasons before attending Missouri Valley College, where she helped kick start
the Vikings' first women's wrestling program.
In 2002, Chun made the move to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado
Springs, Colo., where she has been since.
She went 3-0 to set up a rematch of the 2004 trials final against Miranda.
Chun was the fourth seed in the tournament as a result of placing fourth at the
U.S. Senior Nationals earlier in the year. It was at that tournament, where
Miranda beat her in the semifinals, that Chun began the turnaround that led to
adding Olympian to her resume.
"It's kind of weird and kind of crazy to think about it," Chun said. "It is
great when people call you an Olympian. It's really cool to hear that ... It's a
Chun, who is half Chinese, will have a difficult task ahead if she is to
medal in Beijing. Two-time defending World Champion, Chiharu Icho of Japan and
Ukraine's Irini Merlini, who is the defending Olympic gold medalist, are two of
the favorites in the weight class. China's Xueceng Ren, who lost to Icho in the
finals of the Asian Championships this year, is another front runner as the 2005
Chun, who has a communications degree from the University of Colorado at
Colorado Springs, is planning to teach English to kindergarten students in Japan
after the Olympics. For now, she is focused on wrestling.
"I want to win an Olympic gold medal. I feel really confident right now and
I've wrestled well against a lot of the top girls in my weight class," said
Chun. "I've wrestled in the World Championships, so I'm not going to be
overwhelmed or intimidated by the big stage of the Olympics. I've been training
my whole life for this opportunity. I will be ready."
Reach Kalani Takase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attention to female wrestlers too often focused on gender
August 6, 2008 | 4:08 p.m. CDT
Missouri Valley College wrestler Samantha Fee weighs in at the
Women's College Freestyle Nationals on March 14, 2008, at Oklahoma City
University while an official writes "59" (her weight in kilograms) on her arm.
Fee was depleted after having to lose three pounds the morning before
DUAL: When two teams compete for the ultimate
MATCH: When the contestants oppose each other to earn
PIN: Holding the opponent on his or her back with one or
both shoulders touching the mat for two seconds. It determines the winner of the
match, awarding a team six points.
TAKE DOWN: Placing and controlling the opponent on the mat
earns two points.
ESCAPE: Getting out of or reaching a neutral position from a
take down earns one point.
REVERSAL: Gaining control of your opponent from a submissive
position earns two points.
WEIGH-IN: The official record of a wrestler's weight at the
beginning of a match to guarantee he or she can compete fairly in his or her
Amberlee Ebert is calm the day before the final collegiate wrestling meet of
Her blue eyes are not glaring on this Friday afternoon in mid-March. The
Missouri Valley College sophomore is not thinking about her rival, Oklahoma City
University's Ashley Sword. The 24-year-old veteran, known as "Mama Sword,"
dominated her one month earlier, but Ebert has shrugged off that match for now.
Her current opponent looms ahead of her.
Ebert is not worried about making weight, but her teammate Samantha Fee is
anxious. The light auburn-haired sophomore is minutes away from breaking her
fast. She will soon face the five seconds that have plagued her for the past
Fee and her teammates are weighing in for the Women's College Wrestling
Association Women's College Freestyle Nationals, the culmination of the women's
collegiate wrestling season, which started in January for Valley. Winners will
be crowned in 10 weight classes - from 44 kilograms (97 pounds) to 95 kilograms
(205 pounds). None will be as contested as the fifth and deciding match between
Ebert and Sword. The two have split four matches during the year.
But the scale comes first. If you're over, like on "The Price is Right,"
you're out and don't win anything.
Scores of wrestlers are lined up on the second floor of the Freede Center at
OCU. Fee is confident. After checking her weight, she knows she's not over 59
kilograms (130 pounds). But she is still fidgety. This day has depleted her. She
started it three pounds too heavy.
In the past 24 hours, she has only eaten one energy bar and consumed a
trickle of fluids. But at least she doesn't torture herself any more while
cutting weight. "Last year, I'd watch the Food Network all the time," Fee said
with a laugh.
Wrestlers pine over food. The Valley wrestlers raid convenience stores on
road trips, loading up on Twizzlers and Chex Mix. After a dual against OCU
earlier in the season, they kept talking about going to eat pho, a Vietnamese
beef noodle soup, like the dish was the new hit movie.
"I just love food," Fee said with a laugh. "I think most wrestlers do. Most
people take it for granted. But when you're a wrestler, you learn to appreciate
it more because you really have to sacrifice it."
Fee eats all the time when she doesn't have to cut weight. "Don't you ever
stop?" her fiance, Jason Doxstader, teases her.
With practice and her additional workouts, she can afford to eat well.
"I think girls get scared of eating too much, but if you eat the right stuff,
and you treat your body good, you'll be all right. It's not like I'm shoving
junk food in my mouth all the time," Fee said.
But when she has to cut weight, Fee starves her body and drains it of fluids
like she did this morning.
At practice, the majority of the wrestlers were lazing around, strapped for
energy from already making weight. But Fee was pedaling on a stationary bike,
dressed like she was going for a winter run. She wore a light jacket over her
sweat suit. Her face was hidden. Her black hooded sweatshirt was tied tightly
around her head. She wore a plastic top and pants underneath everything to tease
out the sweat. It was like she was wearing garbage-bag long johns.
Fee kept on the outfit while she tried to squeeze every ounce of liquid from
her body. When she got in the team van, she blasted the heat in the front seat.
Back at the hotel, she steamed up the shower. Then she got on the team's scale.
All the activity had worked. She could finally lie down and rest.
This day hadn't been that bad for Fee. She had suffered much worse when she
was almost disqualified at the girls' high school nationals in Michigan. She was
over 0.1 pounds on her first of two weigh-ins. With only a few minutes between
attempts, her coach, Chris Jones, created a diversion with the officials. Fee
sprinted to the bathroom and ripped off her sports bra underneath her singlet.
Then she materialized and nailed her last try.
"She was the biggest crab. We wanted to kill her," Jones said.
Now, at the weigh-in, Fee doesn't need to play any spy games. She steps on
the scale, weighs in under the limit and gets "59" scrawled on her arm in black
marker. She smiles to Valley coach Carl Murphree and walks directly to her bag.
She grabs a bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade and chugs half the bottle.
Fee then joins her teammates for a feast of snacks and drinks. They finally
get to replenish their bodies for tomorrow's meet. The wrestlers share
everything: a family-sized box of Wheat Thins, Chex Mix and Starbursts, water,
Gatorade, and Pedialyte, a drink for dehydrated babies.
ν ν ν
"You wish you could wrestle like a girl," boasts one of the many T-shirts
wrestlers are wearing at the Freede Center. College athletes aren't the only
ones competing this weekend. Hundreds of girls, starting with boisterous
46-pound girls in elementary school, are participating in the USA Wrestling
Girls' Folk-Style National Championships.
Dozens wait in line to get posters and T-shirts autographed by Tricia
Saunders, the sport's superstar. The throng at the tournament is astonishing to
her. She used to be the only girl at competitions. But now she is surrounded by
hundreds of girls.
"It's something that I just almost never could believe," she said with a big
Growing up in a wrestling family in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saunders was 8 years
old in 1975 when she placed third in her first meet. She won state and regional
events, but later switched to gymnastics when her middle school and high school
didn't allow her to wrestle.
She returned to the sport in the late 1980s when women's wrestling emerged
internationally. Her four world titles and undefeated record against Americans,
among many achievements, earned her induction as the first female in the
National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Saunders also waged bureaucratic battles. As the first woman on the board of
directors of USA Wrestling, she was the visible but reluctant fighter for the
development of women's wrestling.
But now with girls firmly established on the mat, Saunders, 42, could teach
them what they all love - how to wrestle. She led a clinic before getting out a
"They can focus a lot more of their attention and identity on themselves as
an athlete, not as a pioneer or a ground-breaker. I was all of those things, but
my love of it all was just wrestling. It's a great sport. And all these girls
will tell you the same thing. It's got all these other issues swirling around
it, but it's this much of what we think," Saunders said, bringing her thumb and
index finger close together.
But that gap is still gaping for some coaches. And journalists, too.
"Every article that's written about a lot of women is still about ‘you're a
woman in this guy's sport,'" Saunders said. "Don't you want to ask me about my
ν ν ν
Sword is confident when asked about her probable rematch against Ebert.
When the OCU junior lost to Ebert, the margins were slim. But when Sword
defeated her twice, she dominated. "For me, I feel like it gives me mentally a
little bit of an edge," Sword says the day before the final collegiate event of
Their styles differ when they face each other. Sword, 24, is loose and
aggressive. Ebert, 19, is nervous and defensive.
Ebert starts out the tournament like a pitcher with early-inning jitters. Her
first opponent opens the match with a one-point takedown. But the thud wakes her
up. She advances, not giving up another point.
The rest of her team is not faring as well. Ebert is the only Valley wrestler
to make it to a final, where she will face Sword. Fee places third in her weight
class. While the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) and OCU are fighting for
the title, Valley will finish third out of eight teams.
The season is winding down. The finalists march onto the mat. The "Olympic
Hymn" booms from speakers. Ebert tries to stay composed. But she cracks a smile
when her teammates scream her name in unison.
Ebert's family also cheers her on. Her parents and three younger brothers
made the trip from Reedsville, Wis. Her father, Bob, has coached and coaxed her
during her career. When she doubted herself, he praised her abilities.
The two briefly talk before the final. Bob Ebert demonstrates a hold and the
way to escape to his daughter.
When Ebert and Sword start their match, the Valley team charges onto the
adjacent mat to watch. Their c_MG_1463_t_w600_h600heers suddenly turn into gasps.
Sword has thrown Ebert on her back directly in front of her teammates and
coaches. She can see the distressed look in their eyes. Her left shoulder is
glued to the mat, but her right shoulder is inches off of it. Sword grimaces
while she tries to get the pin. But Ebert, with her body flailing, somehow
wiggles toward the edge of the circle. The referee blows the whistle. Ebert is
safe, but ends up losing the first period.
An official herds the Valley wrestlers back into the bleachers. Their cheers
erupt again in the second period, which Ebert wins easily.
Those screams subside halfway through the third period. Sword scores a
one-point takedown. Ebert's teammates get more frantic while the clock winds
down from 60 seconds to 30 seconds to 15 seconds. She only needs one point to
win, but she and Sword are in a stalemate. Ebert is not making any moves toward
Sword. But she seems eerily patient, confident in her defensive posture.
Suddenly, with 10 seconds remaining, Ebert lunges forward, overpowers Sword,
takes her to the mat and scores one point. The clock runs out. The season is
Her teammates start screaming and jumping. Ebert rushes off the mat and hugs
all of them. "You had me scared there for a little bit," Jenny Germany said.
Ebert walks down to meet her family. She hugs her mother. Then she embraces
her teary-eyed father. He holds on to her, saying nothing.
||Stanka Zlateva Hristova
||Laure Ali Annabel
||Monika Ewa Michalik
||Ana Maria Paval
||Maider Unda Gonzales de Audicana
||Ida Therese Nerell
||Audrey Stadnik; Irina Melnik-Merleni
||Marcie Van Dusen
||Mayelis Caripa Castillo
||Marcia Andrade Mendoza
Kyoko Hamaguchi is
the daughter of former New-Japan and All-Japan Pro Wrestling worker and trainer
(of Satoshi Kojima and Tomoaki Hionma), Animal Hamaguchi. At the
2004 Olympics, when Kyoko was defeated by the eventual gold medalist China’s Xu
Wang, Animal jumped the barricades to argue with the ref. In the
past, Kyoko has done “exhibition” matches with All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling,
with her losing match at the Big Egg Universe in 1994 at the Tokyo Dome in from
of 30,000 + coming to mind. Her PR engine makes constant claims
with her “revitalizing Women’s Pro Wrestling” or “making Women’s MMA”
as a future prospect but at age 30, that will be rough for either
sport to begin, though Sumie Sakai, Japanese female Judo Champion, started Pro
Wrestling in her late 20s and her MMA career just two years ago at age 34.
I foresee her getting a Silver or Bronze medal in her weight class and
then retiring after this year’s World Championships to do a match at New Year’s
Eve for DREAM, as FEG has had women’s matches on New Year’s Eve and Hamaguchi is
big news among combat sports circles enough to be two matches before the main
event. Since HUSTLE’s “Chie” Chieko Ishii has made challenges to
Hamaguchi in the pat it would not be a surprise to see that match at K1
Dynamite. However, they might pony up the money to put an ex Japan
Women’s Judo team member opposite of her for a match. And in
regards to her and Pro Wrestling, I do not think anyone, not even the second
most famous female combat sports athlete (next to Ryoko Tani), can
revive Women’s Wrestling now in Japan though she may work some days here and
there for HUSTLE and Zero-One, where the money are. She could also cut
weight and squash the Conviction of Elite XC but theres no money to be made in
the States where she would not be marketed correctly.
is the 2007 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling Absolute Weight Class Silver Medalist
and 2005 PanAm 72 Kg Freestyle Wrestling Champion. She has met
Kyoko Hamaguchi on the freestyle mats before. I feel that she can
get 4th or 5th place and then get signed by Elite XC to face Cristianne Cyborg
after she gives Gina Carano a rhinoplasty.
Xu Wang defeated
Kyoko Hamaguchi. However, in the past few years she has not been
doing as well getting only 5th at last year’s world
Kaori and Chiharu
Icho are famous wrestling sisters in the same vein as the Yamamoto family
(consisting of siblings: kid, Seiko and Enson Inoue’s ex-wife Miyu; and their
father, Ikue), though not as big yet I would guess. Along with
Saori Yoshida, the Ichos were team mates of the Yamamotos in the past.
Clarissa Chun is a
wrestler whose career I have followed for a long time. She is of
Chinese-Japanese descent. Represent la raza girl. She
is the PanAm 48kg Champ and a multi-time national champ.
Iran has a fine wrestling program but because it imposes
Sharia law, women are to allowed to compete as it would have the women out of
the hijab veil. Although Egypt and Tunisia are mostly Islamic countries,
especially Egypt with institutionalization of the sounding of adhan prayer
calls, they are not countries with the Sharia as codified law, and thus women
can compete on the Wrestling team. With regards to the Turkish women Wrestlers,
they simply did not qualify in international competition.
G Chiharu Icho (Japan). Chiharu
has been on a competition roll since 2004 winning gold or silver except at the
2007 Asian Championships. I can see her doing the same in
S Irina Melnik-Merleni
(Ukraine). She is attractive. Irina won the Olympics last
time when she bested Chiharu. That has not happened again since then. It
probably would not happen again as Chiharu has learned from that
B Clarissa Chun (USA)
Because the IOC is racist against Overseas and American Born Chinese (see
Michelle Kwan). She is a tough girl, tough enough to beat any of the fourteen
other girls not int he medal contention but the competition is tougher up top.
She will beat Li Xiaomei (she has such a cute name: Xiao Mei means “little
beauty”) in Chinese vs Chinese violence much to the liking of Klansmen
G Saori Yoshida (Japan).
Saori Yoshida has won Gold Medals in every major adult international
Women’s Freetyle Wrestling event since 2002, and international kid’s and school
age competitions since 1998. The one time she lost, was to Marcie van Dusen, and
it was not sanctioned by the IOC, and since then Saori has only seen gold. If I
was an MMA group that promotes women’s bouts, i would put alot of money on
getting her. Think of the headlines: Undefeated Women’s Wrestling World and
Olympic Champion to fight in your hometown.
S Natalya Golts (Russia). The
current European Champion for th epast three years will see silver again in
World competition. In my opinion as a male (and this is not where my sports
analysis comes in), I think she is pretty attractive also.
B Marcia Andrade Mendoza
(Venezuela). Marcia gets the Bronze in a stunning upset against Marcie
van Dusen and Hugo laughs as his dama sticks it to the pigs up north. Venezuelan
neighborhoods across the world hold festivals and street fairs. Hugo Chavez
holds a parade in her honor also.
G Kaori Icho (Japan). Her record
mirrors that of her sister’s except shes been doing it since 2002. Icho sisters
will go all the way.
S Haiyan Xu (China). After many
years in Olympic competition, the member of the Chinese Army team finally breaks
through her glass ceiling but is outpointed by Icho at the last second.
B Badrakh Odonchimeg (Mongolia).
In what will be considered a stunning upset, Mongolia’s Ordonchimeg will best
G Stanka Zlateva Hristova
S Xu Wang (China). Will
beat Kyoko again leading to…
B Kyoko Hamaguchi (Japan)… Animal
doing his traditional Olympic stand jumping and is ejected and locked up in
Beijing prison where he is the best Shooter in his cell block. They might keep
him as a hostage so they can improve the chances on their men’s team and get the
good Deca. Maybe they want to start All-Chinese Pro Wrestling also (to
capitalize how well Dragon Gate and WWE draws in Beijing) and do not have a clue
so they get him where he cannot leave. Gives new meaning to being locked into a
contract. See my prediction for Kyoko’s future above. Kyoko gets this spot
beating Rosangela or Russia’s Perepelkina.
the 2004 Olympic Games, Patricia Miranda became the first
American female wrestler to earn a medal with her bronze medal performance.
Miranda started wrestling at the age of 12 before l attending Stanford
University where she was a member of the men’s varsity team. At Stanford she
majored in economics and international policy before graduating from Yale
University Law School in May 2007.
Good luck, Patricia!