Adeline Gray wins ninth medal at world wrestling championships, first as a mom
Adeline Gray won a U.S. record-tying ninth world wrestling championships medal, 14 months after having twins.
Gray, 32, beat Cuban Milaimys Marín 10-6 in a 76kg bronze-medal match at worlds in Belgrade, Serbia, on Wednesday.
“I was literally breastfeeding two babies in the middle of the night watching this tournament last year,” she said. “I was like 50 pounds overweight. I had two little munchkins that wouldn’t let me sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. No, at that moment, I wasn’t even sure if I was coming back.”
Gray, a six-time world champion, rebounded after losing to Japan’s Yuka Kagami in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Gray tied the U.S. wrestling record of nine world medals shared by Bruce Baumgartner, Jordan Burroughs and Kristie Davis (who won world titles as a mom).
Gray, a Tokyo Olympic silver medalist, returned to training in January from July 2022 childbirth. She got back on the mat this year while still recovering from an ab separation from the pregnancy.
A USA Wrestling spokesperson could not think of a mom who has made an Olympic team, but couldn’t say for sure, when asked in April.
At next April’s Olympic Trials, Gray can achieve the feat while also bidding to break the record for oldest female U.S. Olympic wrestler by nearly three years, according to Olympedia.org.
Gray has a bye into the Olympic Trials finals as a reigning world medalist.
“I know I didn’t stand on that gold-medal spot, but I still accomplished my goals, putting myself in the finals of Olympic Trials, of qualifying the weight for Team USA,” she said.
With four medals Wednesday, the U.S. is now guaranteed at least a national record-tying seven women’s medals at one worlds.
Macey Kilty, 22, took silver at 65kg in her first senior worlds. That’s not an Olympic weight, so expect Kilty to move down do 62kg or up to 68kg for Olympic Trials.
Helen Maroulis, who in 2016 became the first U.S. woman to win Olympic wrestling gold, earned her seventh world medal, bronze at 57kg. She gets a bye into the Olympic Trials finals.
Sarah Hildebrandt earned her fourth career world medal, a bronze at 50kg. Hildebrandt, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, also earned a bye into the Olympic Trials finals.