Helen Maroulis made history at the Olympics again. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which took place last summer, Maroulis won the bronze medal in the 57kg women’s freestyle wrestling event, becoming the first wrestler in women’s wrestling history for the United States to win two Olympic medals. This comes after the 30-year-old won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and became the first woman from the U.S. to win a gold medal in wrestling. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Maroulis talked about earning the bronze medal in Tokyo and making history.
“You know, normally in my personality, I think I would be upset for not earning gold and I definitely wanted it, but I think I made peace with it right away,” Maroulis exclusively told PopCulture. “One, because after you lose you have to wrestle another match for that metal. And so I’ve seen, I didn’t want to dwell on that loss so much and have it just make me not ready to go get the bronze. They kind of say that once you lose bronze becomes the new gold. And that’s kind of how I think I had to look at it. And then at the same time, looking back now it’s just crazy. Tomorrow’s really not promised to you. And just to get a medal period is an incredible accomplishment.”
For Maroulis, her career came very close to ending after winning gold in 2016. She suffered a brain injury during a match in 2018 and was forced to retire. Maroulis was able to fully recover and work her way back up the ranks. Following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Maroulis has won multiple events, and with the World Championships in September, she feels confident she can finish 2022 very strong.
“Yeah. I actually feel like I’m better than ever,” Maroulis said. “I think I’m a better wrestler now. I know I’m a better wrestler now than I was in 2016 and I love wrestling. I’m still pursuing it. I still feel like I haven’t peaked yet. So it’s my joy.” As for her future, she’s ready to get another medal at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. “I mean, I like to take things in quads and in quadrennials,” Maroulis said. “So for four-year cycles, I definitely see myself doing Paris 2024. And then I think I’ll reevaluate after that and we’ll see where life takes me.”