posted 03/29/14 at 3:44am
on Looking ahead to the Sweet 16
Sara McMann (born September 24, 1980 in Takoma Park, Maryland) is the first American woman in history to receive a silver medal in women's wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics games in Athens, Greece. She wrestled in the Women's Freestyle 63 kg or 138.75 lb weight class. Sara was a Silver Medalist in 2003 World Championships and Bronze Medalist in 2005 & 2007 World Championships. Sara started wrestling at the age of 14 in Marion, North Carolina at McDowell High School.
Sara's brother, Jason McMann, who wrestled at Quince Orchard High School in Maryland and was Sara's best friend growing up, was murdered Jan. 23, 1999 at the age of 21.
Then, in September of 2004, while driving her Jeep to Washington D.C. with her fiance, former ASU three-time NCAA All-American wrestler Steven Blackford as her passenger, the vehicle ran off the road and rolled over. He was ejected from the vehicle, and died at the scene. McMann was hospitalized with a broken arm and other minor injuries.
By 2010, she had transitioned from wrestling to MMA, and with just a few amateur fights under her belt, McMann inked a deal with Strikeforce for its 135-lb division.