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Adeline Gray leads female warriors showing women can be “pretty and strong” at Rio 2016 wrestling test event

 

Adeline Gray leads female warriors showing women can be “pretty and strong” at Rio 2016 wrestling test event If sport reflects society then wrestling is showing that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to gender equality. Having faced expulsion from the Olympic Games in 2013, this traditionally male-dominated sport put itself through a bold modernisation process, with one of the central changes being to increase the number of women competitors.

And the Rio 2016 freestyle wrestling test event, staged at Carioca Arena 1 in Barra Olympic Park this weekend (30-31 January), was an apt celebration of this progress, with 50 female wrestlers from eight nations in action. One of the stars of the show was the USA’s Adeline Gray, a three-time world champion, who took gold in the -75kg category on Sunday.

If sport reflects society then wrestling is showing that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to gender equality. Having faced expulsion from the Olympic Games in 2013, this traditionally male-dominated sport put itself through a bold modernisation process, with one of the central changes being to increase the number of women competitors.

“We have six weight classes for men and six for women,” she said. “Having that kind of equality in wrestling, which is not traditionally a female sport, is amazing. It really shows how far women have come in this sport and in the world. Young girls can look up to people like Aline Silva and myself and see powerful women who can also be pretty and step on that mat and be strong.”

“We are getting closer to equal pay and this is one more example of how our society is really pushing women to be successful”[…]

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