Ahead of Pan American Wrestling Championship, Olympic Champion Helen Maroulis Locks Horns With World Champ Stevan Micic

Published 02/01/2024, 6:15 AM EST

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For the next few months, the 2024 Paris Olympics is everything on an aspiring athlete’s mind. Training, trials, and qualifications have picked up a pace to fetch the finest of the fields, and athletes without a berth find themselves in a race. One of these, providing a visual presentation soon is the Pan Am Championships for wrestling stars, and the path toward it brims with enthusiasm.

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The 2024 Pan American Championships will mark their arrival by Feb 21st to offer a ticket to the Olympics. Helen Maroulis, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, is among the hundreds in the race to the coveted stage. Today, as the event nears the brink, the wrestling star appears staunch in practice.

Wrestling icons in a practice showdown

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In one of the recent Instagram stories by a videographer, 2-time Olympian Helen Maroulis was seen in a practice session alongside World Champion Stevan Mićić. “A lot of gold medals at the practice today!” the story read. The two wrestling stars could be seen challenging each other in a compelling practice round. Though the practice would seem more inclined for Helen, considering the nearing championships, Stevan has expressed an equal need.

Mićić, the former Michigan Wolverines, secured his Olympic berth back in September following his performance at the World Championships. “It’s something I’m going to need to assess because Tokyo didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I felt sick and I didn’t manage my weight very well.,” he revealed previously. Nonetheless, going forward, it will be Helen’s turn to secure a berth, more so after overcoming a rough patch of wrestling.

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Helen Maroulis past road to recovery

Helen Maroulis, at age 32, has accumulated numerous world titles and accolades backing her stand. But the injuries suffered have been equally grueling for the wrestling icon. In 2019, after suffering three concussions, Maroulis developed PTSD that had her institutionalized. “It really felt as if my career was over,” Maroulis told Olympics.com. “When I did come back I didn’t feel like the same person or the same wrestler.” However, her love for the sport helped her overcome the patch and led the way to the 2021 Olympics.

Olympic Champion Helen Maroulis, Amidst Brain Injury PTSD, Takes Center Stage With 5 Other Americans in UWW’s Year-End Rankings

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“I feel like the Tokyo Olympics was the first time I felt free and healthy and like my old self,” Maroulis recalls. Now securing world titles in the following years, the wrestling champion will look for continued momentum and nostalgia. At the Pan American Championships on the 21st, the 32-year-old will contest in the 57 kg category in the hopes of making it to Paris 2024.

Watch this story: I Can Wrestle With Anybody Anytime: The Unranked Purdue Wrestler Proved His Boast

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Written by:

Shivatmika Manvi

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I was a little kid when my dad brought home a second horse out of his sheer love for the creatures. The excitement to ride and care for one from the first moment still gets to me as I watch the horses in action today; covering the intensity on the field. However, along the way of being immersed in the wider ground of equestrian sports, rodeo and bull riding lingered in the sight.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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