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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Chris Shepherd added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

She just moved up two weight classes and teched her way through the World Championships. Admittedly, women's wrestling is still in it's infancy. And I didn't expect to even ponder a question like this as recently as five years ago. But she wins Worlds in 2015 in dominating fashion, knocks off the three time Olympic Champ to win the Olympics in 2016, and then proceeds to take three months off from the sport to return two weights higher and pulls off the unthinkable.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Ben Golden added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

I'm thinking she's probably the best of all time, worldwide.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Mark Niemann added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

Certainly top 3. Without question. And given JB's slide in 2016, one could make the case that only Snyder is in front of her.

Even with the above stated, she does have a couple things going against her. 1) as you mention, women's wrestling is just starting to bud. I see big things happening in the next 10 years. 2) she never won an NCAA championship.

#LagTime



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Jeff Streu added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

She is halfway to matching John Smith's 6 straight World/Olympic titles. I hope she continues through at least 2020 in order to match or beat that feat!

As someone mentioned on Yappi, not even Gable's run to the Olympic title was as dominant as what Helen did yesterday (Gable had one match that was 3-0, the rest were tech or pin).

I firmly believe that Helen's Olympic gold over Yoshida was akin to Rulon knocking off Karelin.

And even though Helen never won an NCAA title - no fault of hers that women's NCAA wrestling doesn't exist yet - if you consider her WCWA titles to be the women's equivalent of a men's NCAA title, then she is one of only about a dozen wrestlers to win NCAA/collegiate, World, and Olympic titles.

All that being said, she is one of the top 5 US wrestlers of all time.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Ben Golden added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

Just to be clear, my comment was a joke. It's simply impossible to compare her accomplishment with the mens greats. The level of competition is drastically, drastically different. I'm in no way comfortable labeling her as top 5, top 10, top 50, or probably even top 100 US wrestlers of all time if the men are included. It's just way different. I don't think it's a healthy conversation to even have honestly.

No question she's doing something great right now though, and without question the best woman wrestler in US history.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
John Flanigan added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

Quote from Ben Golden's post:

"Just to be clear, my comment was a joke. It's simply impossible to compare her accomplishment with the mens greats. The level of competition is drastically, drastically different. I'm in no way comfortable labeling her as top 5, top 10, top 50, or probably even top 100 US wrestlers of all time if the men are included. It's just way different. I don't think it's a healthy conversation to even have honestly.

No question she's doing something great right now though, and without question the best woman wrestler in US history."



Why can't she be, just based upon her accomplishments? It's like saying that Otto Graham can't be great because the level of competition and athleticism is so different. As a trailblazer for US women's wrestling, she can still be classified as a great US wrestler without the qualifier of woman.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Ben Golden added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

Why can't she be what, John? The top American wrestler? Maybe you're right. I guess in it's own way, winning the state tournament is as great as winning the Olympics. It's just a difference in competition, athleticism and the ability to defeat the other people in the conversation. If we're not considering any of those things in the equation, though, I suppose standing on top of the podium is all that matters, regardless of the venue.

Where do you think 4x state champs stand in the list of the top American wrestlers? After all, they've stood on top of the podium 4x in a row compared to Helen's 3.

I really mean no disrespect to Helen. What she's doing is awesome and great. It's just apples and oranges, and in my opinion disrespectful and unhealthy to make the comparison.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Hank Kornblut added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

The fact she moved up two weights and destroyed everyone is immensely impressive. She is trained by Valentin Kalika and he has done a masterful job of preparing her over the last several years. Perhaps only Kyle and Tervel come close in terms of a pupil/coach combo.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Brian Nicola added to this discussion on August 24, 2017

I've followed the women's side for awhile, I think the technique has made vast improvements in the last decade. I think Helen's tech is as clean as the elite men. That (and her results, of course), put her on the list.

I don't think discussing if she could beat a male her size is even relevant; her skills are highly evolved and her results are as good as anyone in the game.

http://www.flowrestling.org/video/1244887-john-smith-wants-to-see-helen-beat-his-record#.WZ9gaCMrIy4



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
John Flanigan added to this discussion on August 25, 2017

Quote from Ben Golden's post:

"Why can't she be what, John? The top American wrestler? Maybe you're right. I guess in it's own way, winning the state tournament is as great as winning the Olympics. It's just a difference in competition, athleticism and the ability to defeat the other people in the conversation. If we're not considering any of those things in the equation, though, I suppose standing on top of the podium is all that matters, regardless of the venue.

Where do you think 4x state champs stand in the list of the top American wrestlers? After all, they've stood on top of the podium 4x in a row compared to Helen's 3.

I really mean no disrespect to Helen. What she's doing is awesome and great. It's just apples and oranges, and in my opinion disrespectful and unhealthy to make the comparison."



Big difference between a state title and being the best in the world. By your earlier argument, the best is the one who can beat everyone, no matter the weight. Don't put an asterisk by her accomplishments because she is a woman and could not beat a man at her weight class. View them in light of the fact that she has been the best in the world in her division in multiple weight classes and has an opportunity to do some things no American wrestler has done before - man or woman.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on August 25, 2017

[quote="John Flanigan"][Don't put an asterisk by her accomplishments because she is a woman and could not beat a man at her weight class.]


unless i missed it Ben didnt say "she is a woman and could not beat a man at her weight class". That wasnt his point. His point is the pool of talent women compete against is much smaller than the men's pool.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
John Flanigan added to this discussion on August 25, 2017

[quote="Bob Preusse"]

Quote from John Flanigan's post:

"[Don't put an asterisk by her accomplishments because she is a woman and could not beat a man at her weight class.]


unless i missed it Ben didnt say "she is a woman and could not beat a man at her weight class". That wasnt his point. His point is the pool of talent women compete against is much smaller than the men's pool."



And he missed my point that the same can be said of early greats in any sport. Babe Ruth hot more home runs than entire teams, yet he is still considered great. Someone being head and shoulders above their peers at a given time is a sign of greatness.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Jeff Streu added to this discussion on August 25, 2017

Quote from Ben Golden's post:

"I really mean no disrespect to Helen. What she's doing is awesome and great. It's just apples and oranges, and in my opinion disrespectful and unhealthy to make the comparison."



Disrespectful to men's wrestlers that have more opponents? Maybe. An unhealthy comparison/conversation? No (not even sure how this could be "unhealthy").

Since it's no fault of Helen's that women's wrestling is a smaller field/talent pool, what exactly would she need to do to be considered one of the greatest US wrestlers?

According to the media guide that USA Wrestling published for this year's worlds, only Mehnert (only US wrestlers competed in 1904), Smith, and Baumgartner have won more Olympic titles than her, and only Smith, Tricia Saunders, Kemp, Baumgartner, Burroughs, and Adeline Gray have more world titles than her. Since Smith and Bruce B. are on both of those lists, that leaves only 7 wrestlers ahead of her based on credentials. One could easily make the argument that Helen is top 10.

Side note: her coach Valentin Kalika recently said that she pretty much has to train with men to get a challenging workout.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Brady Hiatt added to this discussion on August 25, 2017

If you compare the separation between her and her opponents and those of the top male wrestlers and their separation over their opponents, a case can easily be made for her as an all-time great.

But here's my deal -- why are we comparing her to the men? Every sport separates men and women when talking about this. Golf, basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc. They are separated because they have different God-given physical abilities.

She is clearly the greatest US women's wrestler of all-time.

John Smith, IMHO, is clearly the greatest US men's wrestler of all-time.



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Discussion Topic: Lag Time Topic - is Helen Maroulis the top American Wrestler?
Chris Shepherd added to this discussion on August 26, 2017

Jordan Burroughs says "Not so fast, Shep Diggity Dog!" in his best Lee Corso College Gameday voice-over. Epic World tourney for JB and he's baaaack!



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