What would Katherine Kersten say to Olympic hopeful?
More girls involved in the sport
Women's wrestling will make its second appearance as an Olympic medal sport in Beijing. In 2007, 5,048 girls participated in U.S. high school wrestling. That's more than twice as many as in 1999-2000.
While inclusion in the Olympics has boosted the numbers of girls involved in the sport, opportunities still lag at the college level. Miranda competed for the men's team at Stanford, and the trailblazing Minnesota-Morris women's team was discontinued for budgetary reasons in 2005.
It reminded me of this article by Strib columnist Katherine Kersten.
Concerns about mixed-sex wrestling arise from wrestling's unique nature as a contact sport. Wrestling's objective is to demonstrate control over one's opponent. A wrestler strives to take his opponent down to the mat, and scores points for dominating from behind or on top. Wrestlers frequently engage in pretzel-like contortions, such as forcing their head between an opponent's legs while struggling to turn him on his back. About 90 percent of wrestling holds involve grabbing the upper body or pelvic area.
... If interest is sufficient, high schools can sponsor all-girls teams. (The University of Minnesota-Morris has one of the nation's only women's collegiate varsity wrestling teams.) On the other hand, if interest is limited, female wrestlers can pool their resources and form single-sex community wrestling clubs, like the rugby or fencing clubs that other athletes organize. But putting girls on boys wrestling teams is not a step toward the liberation of women. It's a step back from equality for athletes of both sexes, and a giant step back from common sense.
Kersten hates our Olympic medalists, and there's nothing more unAmerican than that.