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Olympic Profile: Wrestler Ali Bernard Gets a Second Chance at Olympic Gold

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Ali Bernard will represent the United States at the 72-kilogram weight class of the women's freestyle wrestling tournament at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Bernard was named to the team after the 2012 U.S. Wrestling Olympic Team Trials champion tested positive for a banned substance.

BASIC INFO

Name

: Ali Bernard

Age: 26

Date of Birth: April 11, 1986

Discipline: Freestyle

Weight Class: 72 kilograms (158.5 pounds)

Height: 5-feet, 8-inches

Hometown: New Ulm, Minnesota

Birthplace: New Ulm, Minnesota

Current Residence: New Ulm, Minnesota

Club: Gator Wrestling Club

Olympic Games: 2008, 2012. Bernard finished fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games.

International Medals: 2011, bronze, World Championships, 2010, gold, World University Games, 2005, gold, Junior World Championships, 2003, gold, Junior World Championships.

MEDIA

Website

: www.alibernard.com

Twitter: @asbernard86

FAMILY AND EDUCATION

College

: University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; University of Alberta, studied recreation sport and tourism.

High School: New Ulm (Minnesota)

Parents: Father, Rocky; Mother, Sue

Siblings: Sister, Angie, Annie and Abby; Brother, Andy

FAVORITES

Hobbies

: Riding motorcycles, shopping

Wrestling Discipline: Greco-Roman, though she competes in freestyle because Greco-Roman is not offered for women at the Olympic Games.

MORE ABOUT ALI BERNARD

Bernard originally finished second at the 2012 U.S. Wrestling Olympic Team Trials, but when previous winner Stephany Lee tested positive for a banned marijuana substance, Bernard was called upon to represent the U.S. in London for a second time.

At first, Bernard struggled with her loss at the Olympic trials, she said, but when she learned she might end up being a part of the Olympic team anyway, she turned her attitude around quickly, she said, and she couldn't be more excited to represent the United States and compete in her second Olympic Games.

"Now that I'm here in London, it's a gift, a second chance, and I'm not going to let this slip through my fingers," Bernard said. "I'm really excited to be here, and I'm proud.''

Bernard, who won a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships after defeated defending Chinese Olympic champion Jiao Wang, is expected to compete on Thursday, Aug. 9.

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Sandra Johnson is a longtime wrestling fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee, Johnson had the opportunity to live alongside the freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46

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