As a world champion and Olympic medalist, Clarissa Chun has already conquered the wrestling world as an athlete. Now, she is looking to reach new heights as a coach.
The 35-year-old was named assistant national women’s coach by USA Wrestling on Wednesday.
Chun will be based in Colorado Springs, Colorado – home of USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Training Center – and will work under head coach Terry Steiner.
“I am excited to work with all of the athletes who come through the Olympic Training Center with our women’s team, on the cadet, junior and senior levels, to share my knowledge and work with the athletes. I look forward to continuing to learn and to grow as a coach, working with Coach Steiner and coaches from the USA and around the world,” Chun said in a USA Wrestling release.
As an athlete, the Honolulu native spent 15 years on the U.S. national team (2000-07, 2008-13, 2014-17). Chun was runner-up at the 2004 Olympic trials ahead of women’s wrestling’s Olympic debut.
Winning the event four years later, the 48 kg. wrestler finished fifth in her Olympic debut in 2008 before winning gold at the world championships later that year for her first and only world medal.
In 2012, Chun became the first U.S. women’s wrestler to make a second Olympic team. She remains one of just three American women to wrestle at two Games.
In London, Chun won Team USA its fourth women’s wrestling medal and only one of those Games – a bronze.
Finishing third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling, Chun went to Rio as a training partner for Helen Maroulis, who went on to become the first U.S. women’s wrestler ever to win Olympic gold.
“We are extremely excited to have Clarissa joining the USA Wrestling Women's Program as a coach,” Steiner said in the release. “Clarissa has always carried herself with dignity and class. She has proven herself as an athlete and now she has the opportunity to share her knowledge as a coach and give back to the next generation of superstars. There is no doubt in my mind that Clarissa will develop into one of the great coaches of the sport of women's wrestling. She has the right skill set and personality to go with it. For me, as the Women's National Team Coach, it is important that we have coaches that our athletes look up to and respect. It is important that to me that our staff is made up of great people who complement one another.”