Breaking the Stigma: Women’s Wrestling is Sanctioned

Lydia Parkhurst, Reporter

Women’s wrestling is a growing sport. While West High currently has a small team, it grows each year. I started wrestling my freshman year, when there were only two other girls on the team at the time, Clare Braun and Victoria Knight. Since then, the sport has been sanctioned as of 2022. It was announced at the end of the high school girl’s state wrestling tournament, to end the 2021 season. As the sport grows, the University of Iowa is also adding a women’s team this year, which Clarissa Chun will coach. Chun went to the Olympics in 2012 earning a bronze medal and a world championship title.

Throughout history, people have said that men are biologically stronger than women, and women in wrestling are trying to break that stigma.

The girl’s matches always have the biggest crowd and the loudest cheers.

— Steve Farrell

Wrestling is a team sport but when you go on the mat to wrestle, it is only you. That fact can be scary, but when you think about it that means you don’t have to depend on someone else to make you win. The team is still there cheering you on from the side of the mat and if you lose, they always console you and can help you improve when you win they are there to celebrate with you. Even people I have wrestled against have cheered me on while in a match. Since the women’s wrestling community is still small, the girls are more supportive, which shows in how they cheer each other on and lift each other.

Whenever I win a match the pride I feel radiates off of me and you can see it on my face while I walk off the mat. Most of the female wrestlers you see have either been wrestling their whole life or just started. That doesn’t always prove something on the mat but how they react to a win or a loss. “The girls that have been wrestling for longer react to winning similar to Cooper Paxton because they have more experience,” said Coach Josef Kadlec. Kadlec thinks that that is why there is a wide range of reactions after a match. Watching the girls who are newer to the sport get their wins is always inspiring because you can see how much it means to them. 

Outside of high school, sports wrestling is growing all over the United States and across the world with the Olympics. There have been many colleges expanding their sports and adding women’s wrestling including Wartburg, Iowa, Iowa State, along with 45 other colleges. With more colleges adding women’s wrestling it is also opening up more scholarships for female wrestlers.

If you attend West High School and you are interested in going out for wrestling please contact Coach Kadlec at [email protected].