USA to send talented wrestlers to compete in Ancient Olympia, Greece, July 20-21

July 12, 2013, 9:28 p.m. (ET)
Helen Maroulis, shown after a win at the 2013 World Team Trials, is a Greek-American who will wrestle in Greece for the first time. Photo by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers Are Warriors

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece -- A pair of 2012 Olympians, Elena Pirozhkova and Ellis Coleman, highlight a talented group of wrestlers set to represent the United States in a Senior international wrestling event in historic Ancient Olympia, Greece July 20-21.

The United States will send nine men and women wrestlers to compete in a competition at the birthplace of the Olympic movement. This gathering of wrestlers is significant, as it represents the themes of FILA's Save Olympic Wrestling campaign: wrestling is universal, wrestling is for everyone and wrestling is one of the original sports.

Pirozhkova was a 2012 World Champion and 2010 World silver medalist. She is fresh off a win at the 2013 World Team Trials where she earned a berth onto the U.S. World team at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., her sixth straight World team

Coleman represented the United States on the 2012 Olympic team in Greco-Roman. The infamous inventor of the "flying squirrel" move won the 2013 U.S. Open in April in Las Vegas and placed second at the 2013 World Team Trials. Coleman will compete in two styles in Greece, both men's freestyle and Greco-Roman.

2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis will represent the U.S. at 55 kg/121 lbs. Maroulis is a Greek-American and has family living in Greece. This will be the first time she has ever competed in Greece. Ranked second in the world, Maroulis won the 2013 U.S. Open and U.S. Team Trials.

"I am so excited. When I heard that Coach Terry Steiner gave us the option, I said, yes, please can we go? My dad is from Greece. He grew up in a small town called Kalamos. I go to Greece a lot to visit family, but we go straight to the islands. I found out we are going to the mainland, to the big city, and I've always wanted to wrestle in Greece. I am excited to experience wrestling in that country" said Maroulis.

Also competing in women's freestyle will be 2012 World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Earlier this year Lampe picked up big wins at the U.S. Open and the U.S. Team Trials.

2012 University World Champion Max Nowry will wrestle in Greco-Roman at 55 kg/121 lbs. Nowry won the 2013 Pan American Championships and placed second at the 2013 U.S. Open and the 2012 Olympic Team Trials.

The qualification rounds and finals for third and fifth place will be completed on July 20, while the championship finals will be held on July 21.

U.S. women's national coach Terry Steiner will coach the women's team, and Shawn Sheldon and J.D. Robbins will coach the men's Greco-Roman team.

Both male and female wrestlers from Albania, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iran, Russia and the United States, will compete in this tournament, which will be run under the new rules passed by the FILA Bureau at the Extraordinary Congress in May.

The finals, for all weight classes and styles, will be staged at the International Olympic Academy and shared via livestream on the official FILA Facebook page at

In addition to the matches, wrestlers will have the opportunity to walk the grounds of Ancient Olympia, including the Palaestra and the Stadium at Olympia. Both of these locations hold significant meaning to the sport of wrestling, as heroes of the sport, such as Milo of Croton, have stepped foot on the very same ground.

Select youth wrestlers will also be invited to join the tour of Ancient Olympia and participate in an exhibition at the Palaestra. These youth wrestlers were specifically chosen, as their first opportunity to participate in the Olympic Program would be the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling is currently on the shortlist of sports to be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Program. This vote, by the full IOC membership, will take place on September 8th in Buenos Aires.

At Ancient Olympia, Greece, July 20-21

Event Schedule

Saturday, July 20, 2013
10:00 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m. -- Qualification Rounds
6:00 -- 8:30 p.m. -- Third and Fifth Place Finals Matches

Sunday, July 21, 2013
6:00 -- 8:30 p.m. -- Championship Finals

U.S. Women's Freestyle athletes
48 kg/105.5 lbs. -- Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (Sunkist Kids)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. -- Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC)
67 kg/158.5 lbs. -- Tamyra Mensah, Katy, Texas (Wayland Baptist)
Coach -- Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Men's Greco-Roman athletes
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Max Nowry, Wheeling, Ill. (NYAC)
60 kg/132 lbs. -- Nikko Triggas, Moraga, Calif. (NYAC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Ellis Coleman*, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
74 kg/163 lbs. -- Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. -- Beau Wenger, Navarre, Ohio (TRWC)
Coach -- Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Coach -- JD Robbins, Oviedo, Fla.

U.S. Men's Freestyle athlete
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Ellis Coleman*, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)

Medical -- Nate Hayes, North Liberty, Iowa

Official -- Fidel Albelo, Hialeah Garden, Fla.

*Coleman will also wrestle at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in both freestyle and Greco-Roman