Honaker High School Wrestler wins gold medal at Junior Olympics
RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. - Summer vacation is a time for relaxation for most high schoolers, but Jorie Richardson spent her summer racking up medals at the Junior Olympics in Michigan.
The AAU All-American wrestler won the gold medal in the 124 pound class for 15-year-olds, and the silver medal in the junior class, which encompasses all female high school wrestlers at that weight.
"Just a lot of hard work and dedication from all my coaches and all the help I've gotten and support," Richardson says.
Her parents take her all over the country to compete.
"We've been to about 27 states this year and about 15 different wrestling competitions," her father Ryder Richardson says.
Jorie Richardson is a rising sophomore at Honaker High School. The Tigers don't have a girls wrestling program, so during their season, she mostly wrestles the boys.
"The girls are a whole lot more flexible and the boys are just a whole lot stronger," Richardson explains.
She says the boys underestimate her on the mat, and that usually doesn't end well for them.
"They do that to me a lot and then they end up getting beat," she says. "Some of them cried, some were really upset."
Despite being one of a just a few girls on the Honaker wrestling team, she doesn't get any special treatment from her coaches or her teammates.
"She's always pushing somebody," Dylan Smith, one of her coaches at Elite Grappling, says. "She doesn't let being a girl or anything put her aside and the guys in here try to beat up on her as much as she beats up on them."
Coming up this fall, Richardson will compete in the Super32 Challenge in Greenesborough, North Carolina, which is an exclusive, invitation only tournament.