Wrestling Preview

USA Wrestling heads into the Olympic Games with a 15-member team of proven veterans and young talent, each aiming to reach the podium in Tokyo. The U.S. team is one member larger than the one that competed in Rio and the second largest contingent of any nation. Team USA will look to bring home more than the two gold medals won five years ago.

Team USA began its qualifying journey back in September 2019 at the world championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The second phase was the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier, which was held in Canada in March of that year. When all was said and done, Team USA had qualified in 15 of the 18 weight classes. Wrestlers then battled it out at April’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials to claim those spots for themselves.

In men’s freestyle, the U.S. has had plenty of success in recent years, winning the world team title in 2017, placing second at the 2018 world championships and third in the 2019 world championships. Team USA earned six podium spots in 2017 and seven in 2018, including five world titles. In 2019, the USA added four more medals, with two more individual gold medals.

2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Kyle Snyder (97 kg.) headlines the U.S. Olympic men’s freestyle squad, and he's joined by world championship silver medalist Thomas Gilman (57 kg.), two-time world champion Kyle Dake (74 kg.), 2018 world champion David Taylor (86 kg.) and NCAA champion Gable Steveson (125 kg.).

In women’s freestyle, Team USA placed second in 2017, and third in 2018 and 2019 at the world championships. The Olympic team is led by reigning Olympic champion Helen Maroulis (57 kg.), and she is joined by world medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg.), 2019 world champion Jacarra Winchester (53 kg.), junior world medalist Kayla Miracle (62 kg.), 2019 world champion Tamyra Mensah-Stock (68 kg.) and five-time world champion and 2016 Olympian Adeline Gray (76 kg.). 

In Greco-Roman, the U.S. team will look to reverse a medal-less streak dating back to 2008. The team consists of Ildar Hafizov (60 kg.), Alejandro Sancho (67 kg.), John Stefanowicz (87 kg.) and G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg.).

Updated on June 29, 2021. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

• There are two past U.S. Olympic champions seeking another Olympic title in Tokyo: 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis at 57 kg. in women’s freestyle and 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. in men’s freestyle. Only three American wrestlers in history have won two Olympic gold medals — George Mehnert (1904, 1908), John Smith (1988, 1992) and Bruce Baumgartner (1984, 1992). Maroulis and Snyder have each won multiple world championship titles, and they are aiming to make history in Tokyo.


• In international wrestling, there are 10 weight classes in each of the three Olympic disciplines. However, at the Olympic Games, these athletes must fit into six Olympic weight classes in each discipline, forcing numerous athletes to change their weight class for the Olympic year. In 2018 and 2019, Kyle Dake won world titles at the non-Olympic 79 kg. weight class. Dake moved down to 74 kg. for the 2020 season. Some of the top women stars have changed weight classes, with world champion Jacarra Winchester dropping to 53 kg. and world silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt moving to 50 kg. 

• Adeline Gray, 30, is one of the best U.S. wrestlers in history, regardless of gender or wrestling style. In 2019, she became the first American, male or female, to win five world titles, surpassing legends John Smith, Tricia Saunders and Jordan Burroughs. Gray was a favorite to win at the Rio Games but finished seventh. After resting throughout the 2017 season to heal from injuries and refocus on her career, Gray won her fourth world title in 2018 and went on to add her record-breaking fifth world title in 2019. There have been changes for Gray since the Rio Games, including getting married, changing her training location and taking a coaching job, but she is back at the top of her game heading into Tokyo.

• History was made during the Rio Games, when Helen Maroulis defeated three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan in the 53 kg. finals to become the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling. Maroulis had a successful three-year run, where she won a 2015 world title, 2016 Olympic title and 2017 world title, at three different weight classes. But in 2018, she suffered a concussion in a professional league contest in India, which led to a long and challenging recovery period. Maroulis, 29, is back healthy and in a new weight class, 57 kg. She was able to get back on top of the podium at the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier. 

• Kyle Snyder is used to making history. In 2015, he became the youngest U.S. wrestler at age 19 to win a senior world title with his gold medal at 97 kg. in Las Vegas. In 2016, he became the youngest U.S. wrestler to win an Olympic title, with his gold-medal run in Rio at age 20. Snyder kept it rolling in 2017, when he beat world and Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the last bout of the world finals, giving the U.S. a one-point victory and its first world team title in 26 years. Snyder has won a 2018 world silver and 2019 world bronze. Still in the prime of his career at 25, Snyder is looking to claim his second Olympic gold medal.


• David Taylor has competed sparingly over the past few years since winning a world championship in 2018. Taylor suffered an injury in 2019 that kept him out of action until 2020, when he returned to win a gold medal at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Taylor then won the gold medal at the 2021 Pan American Championships, and that represents the entirety of his international competition since 2018. The 30-year-old known as the “Magic Man” is still expected to be a medal contender, even with the long layoff.

• August 1, 2021: Olympic competition gets underway with action in women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman

• August 2, 2021: Medal matches in Greco-Roman 60 kg., Greco-Roman 130 kg. and women’s 76 kg.

• August 3, 2021: Medal matches in Greco-Roman 77 kg., Greco-Roman 97 kg. and women’s 68 kg.

• August 4, 2021: Medal matches in Greco-Roman 67 kg., Greco-Roman 87 kg. and women’s 62 kg.

• August 5, 2021: Medal matches in men’s 57 kg., men’s 86 kg. and women’s 57 kg.

• August 6, 2021: Medal matches in men’s 74 kg., men’s 125 kg. and women’s 53 kg,

• August 7, 2021: Medal matches in men’s 65 kg., men’s 97 kg. and women’s 50 kg.