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20-year-old Walnut Creek woman heading to Olympics

WALNUT CREEK, Calif - An East-Bay woman is headed to the Olympic Games in Paris this summer. She'll be the youngest woman ever to represent Team USA in wrestling at the 2024 games.

20-year-old Amit Elor of Walnut Creek has proven to be a stand-out athlete as a wrestler throughout middle and high school and beyond. Historically, women are underrepresented in wrestling, but this well-heeled athlete is going for the gold this summer, getting ready to compete in the Olympics.

As the youngest of six, Amit Elor started wrestling when she was four years old.  Growing up in Walnut Creek, her siblings and parents have all been athletically inclined, but she is the first in her family to compete in the Olympics.

Olympic wrestling has only been open to women for 20 years, since 2004. But for Elor, it’s a dream come true.

She said, "I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics, ever since I started wrestling, it’s still really hard to believe; I think honestly I’ll only realize it when I’m there on competition day, it’s surreal!"

At 20-years old, Elor is a powerhouse in her sport, with demonstrated passion and strength. It’s her most recent achievements that have propelled her. She said, "In the past two years, I’ve won three world championships. In 2022, I qualified for my first senior world championship, which is the official world championship, no age restrictions. And for me, that was kind of jumping into new territory."

In 2022, at 18-years old, Elor became the youngest American, (man or woman) to win a world championship, in three different classes based on age and weight. She said, "I wrestled in three world championships all within three months, which was awesome!"

Then last year, she did it again.

<div>Amit Elor of Walnut Creek, California</div> <strong>(Amit Elor)</strong>
Amit Elor of Walnut Creek, California
(Amit Elor)

"In 2023, I did the same thing, and here I am, in an Olympic year, and hopefully I’ll win a medal for the US."

She attributes her success to the support she’s received from her family, her mother in particular, who drove her all around the Bay Area to attend wrestling meets and matches. She is grateful to her coaches and trainers as well, who’ve helped her attain her physical and mental agility as an athlete.

<div>Olympic athlete Amit Elor and her mom, who she says is her biggest supporter</div> <strong>(Amit Elor)</strong>
Olympic athlete Amit Elor and her mom, who she says is her biggest supporter
(Amit Elor)

"I’ve heard all sorts of things, and for a while I was embarrassed about it. My friends would think it was WWE, asking me ‘what’s your costume? What’s your stage name?’  I’m like, ‘No -it’s an actual sport."

None of it has deterred Elor or diminished her dreams. She said, "A lot of times I’d tell my friends about wrestling, and they would make fun of me, saying "it’s gross, wrestlers are stinky, wrestlers are stupid!’ I’ve heard all sorts of things, so I’ve constantly wanted to prove them wrong, and continue to pursue my sport, no matter what."

She’ll head to Paris for the Opening Ceremonies, then head to Normandy with her team for training, then back to Paris for the competition.

Elor is excited about seeing Paris, and participating in the opening ceremonies, which will be along the Seine River, with athletes in boats.

Her advice to anyone with a dream, is don’t give it up. She said, "Don’t be afraid to dream big. I used to tell people I wanted to become an Olympic champion, and I almost felt embarrassed, to even think of that, but here I am, so close to my dream. I’m very excited!"