Women’s wrestling was added to the Olympics for the first time in 2004. In the four weight classes, the United States won one silver and one bronze medal in Athens. After failing to win a medal in Beijing in 2008, this year’s team hopes to return to the podium.
Japan has been by far the most successful of all nations at the two Olympics where women’s wrestling has been held. The Japanese won medals in each weight class in Beijing – two of them gold – and they won two gold and a bronze medal out of four weight classes at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The four women on the U.S. Olympic wrestling team say they are ready for the challenge. Their training partners often include their male coaches.
“It’s a sport within a sport that’s not generally accepted and we’re still working on it,” explains Terry Steiner, who has been the U.S. head coach for all three Olympics in women’s wrestling.
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