USA Wrestling U S Olympic Women s...

U S Olympic Women s Wrestling team arrives in Athens for historic first Olympics for their sport

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 09, 2004, 12 a.m. (ET)

Photos of Women's Team Arrival The U.S. Olympic Women's Wrestling Team arrived in Athens, Greece at 5:00 p.m. local time, Monday, August 9, to compete in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. They arrived on a flight from Amsterdam, the final leg of a long journey from all across the United States. The four-member team, along with one of their Olympic Coaches, emerged from the B Terminal of the Athens airport for the first day of their final preparation for competition. "It is good to be here, to finally be in Athens," said Olympic Coach and USA Wrestling National Women's Coach Terry Steiner. "The summer has gone fast. This has been a long time coming for women's wrestling. I'm excited to be here and I think we are ready to go." The team members who arrived on Monday as a group were 48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Patricia Miranda, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dave Schultz WC) 55 kg/121 lbs. - Tela O'Donnell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dave Schultz WC) 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Sara McMann, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) 72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Toccara Montgomery, Cleveland, Ohio (New York AC) Olympic Coach - Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo. A number of their training partners arrived on another flight which landed about the same time. When the athletes received their credentials and picked up their bags, they were led by USOC staff to three vans, which were loaded and took them to a hotel where near they are staying. They will be living near the U.S. Olympic Committee training center at the American College of Greece. After putting their bags in their rooms, a number of the athletes decided to go up to the facility for a light workout and a chance to get used to their surroundings. "It was a good trip," said Tela O'Donnell. "I slept a lot. I'm excited. I don't know what it will be like out there, but it will be great, though." O'Donnell has not been to Athens, unlike some of her teammates who have competed in tournaments here or attended other activities in the city. For McMann, it will be her fourth visit to Athens, while Montgomery has been here three times. Taking the women to their light workout were Olympic Coaches Tricia and Townsend Saunders of Phoenix, Ariz., the husband and wife team that will be leading the girls into battle. The Saunderses arrived a bit earlier and were waiting for the team at the hotel. The U.S. women's team features three athletes with substantial international success, including two-time World silver medallists Miranda and Montgomery, along with 2003 World silver medalist McMann. O'Donnell will be competing on her first U.S. Senior-level team. Women's wrestling is the newest discipline added to the Olympic Games. The competition will be held at the Ana Liossa Olympic Hall. This was also the site of the Olympic Testing Event for wrestling, held in Athens this winter. McMann won a gold medal at the competition and Montgomery a silver medal, and Miranda also participated in the tournament. The women's team will go through U.S. Olympic Team Processing on Tuesday morning, then will have its first official workout on Tuesday night. The U.S. Olympic Women's Wrestling Team will have its press conference on Wednesday, August 11, at 11:00 a.m. at the Main Press Center at the Knossos Press Conference Room, on the fourth floor next to the USOC Press Office.