U.S. Olympic wrestler Adeline Gray is the heavy favorite to win gold in Rio, but that hasn’t stopped other competitors – and countries – from trying anything and everything to knock her off the perch of women’s wrestling.
“It’s really interesting,” Gray said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I’ve wrestled (Qian Zhou of) China as my best match the last two years and because I’ve beaten her the last three times we wrestled, they decided to put a different Chinese girl in (Zhang Fengliu). The Chinese tend to want to beat the U.S. in gold medals more than they just want to medal, so they would have been guaranteed a medal to put that other girl in, but they took a chance on a new girl. I’m excited for the challenge. This girl did beat me in 2013, but it’s been a long time. She’s been not on the main scene, so I’m looking forward to wrestling her and just making sure she understands she’s No. 2.”
Gray, 25, is from Denver and began wrestling at a young age. Her signature move is the leg lace.
“A lot of people describe it as a gator roll,” Gray said. “I take the person down and then I twist their legs up almost in a little bit of a pretzel, and then I rotate around, kind of like a gator would rotate.”
Gray, a three-time world champion, is used to being the favorite in competitions.
“It’s nothing new,” she said. “It’s kind of an awesome thing to be able to say. I’ve been undefeated for a little over two years now and it’s been great to be able to stand on this podium and kind of hold that spot as reigning world champion for the last two years. Going into the world championships last year was the toughest world championship I had entered, and I still came out on top. I came out on top in a pretty dominant manner, so to walk into the Olympics and be the heavy favorite is somewhat expected. I think I’m really ready for the opportunity to step out there and just prove that I can have one more great day on this Olympic stage.”