Elena Pirozhkova will compete in her first Olympic Games Wednesday when she wrestles at the 63-kilogram (138.75 pound) weight class of the women's freestyle competition.
Pirozhkova, who moved to the United States when she was three years old, began wrestling in order to help her brother on the high school team, and she first pinned a boy when she was in eighth grade. Read on to learn more about Pirozhkova.
Name: Elena Pirozkhkova
Date of birth: Oct. 13, 1986
Discipline: Women's freestyleWeight class: 63 kilograms (138.75 pounds)
Natural weight: 146 pounds
Height: 5-feet, 6-inches
Birthplace: Novokuznetsk, Russia
Hometown: Greenfield, Massachusetts
Current residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Club: Gator Wrestling Club
Coach: Vladislav Izboinikov
Olympic Games: 2012
Major international medals: 2010, silver, World Championships; 2010, gold, World University Games; 2008, gold, World University Games
USA Wrestling bio at TheMat.com: Elena Pirozhkova
FAMILY AND EDUCATION
High School: Greenfield High School
Parents: Father, Sergey, deceased; Mother Tatyana
Siblings: Pirozhkova has eight brothers and sisters, including Natalia, Viktor, Alex, Olga, Marina, Nina, Rita and Maxim. Pirozhkova is the third-oldest.
Hobbies: Drawing, hiking, camping
MORE ABOUT ELENA PIROZHKOVA
Regardless of her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, Elena Pirozhkova is likely to be remembered by at least one person: First Lady Michelle Obama.
When Pirozhkova met Obama before the Olympic Games began, the wrestler picked up the first lady, saying that she wanted to do something different.
"I hugged her, and then I asked her if I could pick her up. I think she was nervous," Pirozhkova said after the event. "I went slow. I just picked her up. I wanted to ask her permission. There was security all around. And she gave it. I will only meet her once. I wanted to do something different."
Pirozhkova, who was born in Russia and moved to the United States when she was three, is expected to wrestle on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Read more from this author: Wrestler Ali Bernard Gets Second Chance at Gold
Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.
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