Across the nation, wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports for young girls; and one Mid-Michigan middle schooler is making headlines in the sport.
Tori Thompson decided to try out for the wrestling team at Alma Middle School last October.
“Before, I wanted to do it, my mom wouldn’t let me. So I decided one day they were calling for wrestling sign-ups, so I came down and signed myself up. So then I went home and told my mom that I signed myself up for wrestling,” Tori said. “She said I’d have to stick it out through the season and see how that went.”
Tori made it through the team’s season and she enjoyed wrestling so much that she joined the Alma Club Team.
In April, Tori advanced to nationals and became the first female wrestler from Alma to win a national championship.
“It was my first year. Was so shocked that I won nationals or even made it to states,” Tori said.
Tori took home the top prize in the girls’ age 12 and younger heavyweight division.
“She didn’t understand how big of a deal it is to win something like that because she’s very new into it, but it’s a very hard thing to achieve. So it’s a great thing that she did,” said Adam Forist, Tori’s coach.
Tori said wrestling has also given her self-confidence off the mat.
She and her mother said Tori was bullied for years, but now those days are over.
“I was bullied for my weight and how I looked. I came to wrestling and met new friends that told me I don’t need to listen to them or anything like that, and I’m amazing just the way I am,” Tori said.
Hearing that means the world to Tori’s mom.
“I was trying to do everything as a parent to help her get through the bullying and then after she started wrestling, she says, ‘mom, nobody’s bulling my anymore.’ They’re looking up to her, asking her how wrestling is going,” Fawn Thompson said.
Tori said she plans on wrestling in high school and she is interested in doing it at the college level too.