OTT: Blades makes her first Olympic Team, is headed to Paris

STATE COLLEGE, PA • Kennedy Blades has done what no other woman in America has been able to do since before 2011, and that is defeat the United States’ most decorated female wrestler, Adeline Gray. In the Bryce Jordan Center, on the campus of Penn State University, Blades, now 20 years old, cruised through the Challenge Tournament and then took out the six-time World champion in two-straight matches. 

Blades and Gray go all the way back to when Blades was a 14-year-old competing in her first Pan-Am Games; Gray was coaching her. In between, they have been in and out of each other’s lives, but aways with an eye to the other. Most recently, as Blades jumped onto the Senior circuit at 17 years of age and placed second at the Olympic Team Trials in 2021, it was only a matter of time before the two would compete against each other as Blades was growing and creeping up on Adeline’s weight class. 

Fast forward to the 2023 World Team Trials best-of-three finals, and their coemption days against one another would begin. In that series, Blades would take the first match, but then drop the next two. Adeline would go on to win a bronze at the World Championships, and Blades would go back to training. 

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Written by Illinois Matmen

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