Photo courtesy of National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Welcome to a new weekly series on TheMat.com called USA Wrestling History Lesson. Each week, we will highlight one athlete that has wrapped up his or her wrestling career, sharing the impact that they’ve had on the sport.
This week, we take a look at Patricia Miranda, a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World medalist in women’s freestyle.
Check out the other USA Wrestling History Lessons HERE.
Miranda competed internationally at 48 kg/106 lbs. and 51 kg/112 lbs. from 2000 until 2009. She represented the United States at four World Championships (2000, ‘02, ‘03, ‘06) and at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Of her five World/Olympic bids, Miranda collected four medals.
Below are her performances:
- 2000 World Championships – silver
- 2002 World Championships – 11th
- 2003 World Championships – silver
- 2004 Olympics (Athens, Greece) – bronze
- 2006 World Championships – bronze
The 2004 Olympics Games were the first to include women’s wrestling, and Miranda was the first American to win an Olympic medal in women’s wrestling. Furthermore, she was the first woman in the history of wrestling to be awarded an Olympic medal as she competed at the lowest weight class.
Miranda’s wrestling career was a series of groundbreaking achievements as she was the first girl to compete on her middle school and high school wrestling teams in California. While she was competing for World medals, Miranda was a part of the Stanford men’s team and during her senior season, she earned a varsity spot, competing at 125 pounds.
Because of her outstanding wrestling career, there is now an award given out by The Open Mat each year called the Miranda Medal, which is awarded to the best women’s college wrestler.
After graduating at Stanford, Miranda was accepted to Yale Law School, but she deferred her admission there to train for the 2004 Olympic Games. She eventually continued her academic career, receiving a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School in 2007.
Now, Miranda, a daughter of immigants, heads up a law firm and specializes in immigration law.
Additionally, Miranda is one of three Stanford alums leading the Keep Stanford Wrestling campaign, which was formed after Stanford announced in July it was cutting 11 varsity programs, including wrestling.