While most high school seniors are sitting in a classroom, 17-year-old two-time National Wrestling Champion Cara Broadus is taking her courses online in order to get more time on the wrestling mat.
Cara told Eyewitness Sports reporter Caroline Powers that she never intended to start wrestling. Originally, she said she had other plans.
"So, my brother got into it originally,” said Cara. “I would go to practice and watch and he'd be like, ‘try it, try it’, and I'd be like ‘No, I'm being a gymnast.’”
But Cara said when she learned that she didn’t have the balance required to be a gymnast, she said she gave wrestling a try.
Ten years later, Cara has two national championships under her belt, but she said it was a rocky start.
"My first match was pretty much as bad as it gets,” recalled Cara. “I got picked up, and put on my head, and my mom nearly had a heart attack at the time. It was not a good thing."
Practice, patience, and family support kept Cara going. Eventually she joined the Connecticut Green Knights at 8 years old, and KT Kidz Wrestling at 14 years old.
“I found it very empowering to be able to go out and wrestle and be able to compete with some of the best in the country,” said Cara.
In her sophomore year of high school, Cara enrolled in online classes to allow for more practice time.
"I need to be able to have the flexibility in my schedule,” she said. “I don't want to look back with regrets and say woulda, coulda, shoulda. So, I was like, ‘I'm going to jump in, I'm going to do it’ and it's been amazing ever since.”
As a member of the USA Cadet Girls National Team, Cara had the opportunity to travel to Japan in October and compete against some of the best in the world.
"It really opened my eyes to how good some of the other countries are. I did not do as well as I had hoped, but I think I wrestled okay,” said Cara.
Cara is encouraging of other girls interested in joining wrestling, despite gender barriers.
“If there's any girls watching this and want to try it, absolutely do because it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I love it."
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