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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Lake Wales High School Female Wrestler Meets Olympic Gold Medalist

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Lake Wales High School Female Wrestler Meets Olympic Gold Medalist

by James Coulter

The first girl to ever place in the Wrestling State Tournament for Lake Wales High School met the first female wrestler to win gold at the Olympics.

Jennah Mustafa, 16, has been wrestling throughout her high school career. Last year, she won first place in the Knockout Christmas Classic. At 145 lbs., She is currently unbeaten with a record of 19-0.

Mustafa recently had the opportunity to meet a personal inspiration during a movie premiere hosted in Tampa. Helen Maroulis, an award-winning female wrestler, was promoting her documentary, “Helen | Believe”, which chronicles her journey to become the first female athlete to win Gold at the Olympics in wrestling.

According to Wikipedia: “At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil she became the first-ever American to win a gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling at the Olympic Games.”

The new movie tells her journey of how she was able to win the gold medal while also struggling to cope with her PTSD. As the film’s website explains, it follows her “astonishing comeback to the sport after suffering a career-ending injury that forced her into retirement after becoming America’s first female gold medalist.”

When Mustafa learned that her hero and inspiration was visiting Florida, the high school wrestler and her family decided to attend the movie premiere for a chance to meet the famous female wrestler.

“She is very well-known in the wrestling community, especially with girls wrestling,” Mustafa said. “It was my first time meeting her in real life. It went well. I was nervous at first. But once I got to meet her, she was a really nice lady. She is really good and inspiring.”

Mustafa was able to meet with Maroulis during the event. The young girl shared her achievements, along with her dreams and aspirations.

“She [Maroulis] taught me to never give up,” Mustafa said. “No matter what anyone says, I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

Aside from being Knockout Champion, Mustafa has also won district twice, became a regional two-time champion, and reached the state championship last year. She trains every day to reach her goals, and she hopes to improve to finish big her senior year.

“I learned a lot these last couple of years in high school. It is my last year, so I want to make it a good one and earn a state title,” she said. “I train every day. That’s what it is all about. You cannot just go to one practice and come home. You have to continue training every single day. Both

times a day. Training whenever you can. The people you are surrounded with help a lot, too. Pushing you to your limit.”

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