32-Year-Old Seasoned American Wrestling Veteran Adds Another Feather to Her Cap at 2023 Wrestling World Championship

Published 09/21/2023, 7:30 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Freestyle wrestler Adeline Gray added a tenth senior-level medal to her kitty in Belgrade. The Serbian capital hosted this year’s World Wrestling Championships. A record six-time world champion, Gray could not add a seventh. It was, however, her first medal as a mother. In the freestyle 76 kg category, she lost to Japan’s Yuka Kagami in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, September 19. It was, however, far from the only setback she had to overcome.

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Gray began training only in January. In April, she was reportedly only wrestling at 50 percent capacity. She lost to Kennedy Blades in the final of the US Open in Las Vegas. Of course, she now has a bye into the Olympic Trials finals set for April 2024. Being a reigning World Championship medalist helped her cause.

Gray underwent surgery for an ab separation

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist was forced to undergo surgery after she suffered an abdominal tear. The condition, Diastasis Recti, affected her while in labor. She gave birth to twins roughly 14 months ago. Fortunately, that pair emerged unscathed. For their mother, sadly, the road to recovery would be long and arduous. Gray outlined her gratitude that her babies were big and healthy. The pair were also in attendance as the proud mother got her hands on the medal. Adeline Gray bested Cuban Milaimys Marin 10-6 to claim bronze on Wednesday, September 20.

Gray was still in recovery following the surgery when she took to the mat once more in April. After that loss to Blades, she needed to win her next two wrestling competitions. That was her only shot at qualification for the World Wrestling Championships. Gray won the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in May. She then beat Blades in the Final X in June.

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Could Adeline Gray be the next Olympic Mom?

Gray could join an esteemed company by making the Olympic team after becoming a mother. National Wrestling Hall of Famers Tricia Saunders and Kristie Davis are the only ones presently on that list. Saunders and Davis also competed before Women’s Wrestling made its Olympic debut in 2004. The pair also recorded multiple World Wrestling Championships titles as mothers.

Mom of Twins, Adeline Gray Makes a Strong Comeback at US Wrestling Team

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Adeline Gray was unsuccessful in winning the World title after entering motherhood this time. She could yet become the oldest female US wrestler to make the Olympic team. At 32, Gray stands to surpass the previous record holder by at least three years. Currently, she is tied with Bruce Baumgartner, Jordan Burroughs, and Davis. The quartet all have a national record nine World Championship medals to their names.

Gray has no plans to slow down. She has cemented her legacy as one of the best in her category. Of course, there is not much left for her to do to be spoken of in the same breath as Saunders and Davis. It remains to be seen whether the joys of motherhood are complemented by additional honors in wrestling. Adeline Gray will doubtless strive to do her best at the Olympic Trials.

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Written by:

Anirudh Haridas

236Articles

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Edited by:

Debmallya Chakraborty

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