Hawaii’s Clarissa Chun selected to National Wrestling Hall of Fame


LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: U.S. Olympian Clarissa Chun visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)

Legendary Hawaii wrestler Clarissa Chun has been selected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022.

Chun, a Roosevelt graduate who was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 won the world championships in 2008 and captured a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2012.

“When I started wrestling, Hawaii was the first state to sanction girls wrestling as a high school sport. It’s such a weird thing for me to think that I’m being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame,” Chun told KHON2 Sports. “To me it’s wild because I think of there is a generation of strong female wrestlers that came before me that just never had the opportunities that I had just based on timing on when they came to the sport. So for me, it’s like oh my gosh there are so many amazing women ahead of me and I feel like such honor that I’m only one of four in the hall of fame right now as a female and I’m excited for the future of women’s wrestling.”

A four-time U.S. Open champion, she competed in five world championships and two Olympics, finishing fifth in 2008 when she was the first wrestler from Hawaii to qualify for the Olympics. Chun also won four Pan American Championships and was a silver medalist at the Pan American Games in 2011.

She was a four-time Sunkist Kids International Open champion and also captured championships at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, Poland Open, Open Cup of Russia, New York AC International, Vehbi Emre Golden Grand Prix, and Klippan Ladies Open.

She was a two-time Hawaii girls state high school wrestling champion for Roosevelt High School and placed third in the 1999 USGWA High School Nationals. Chun made history when she won the first Hawaii state title in the first year that the state held an officially sanctioned tournament for girls. She also qualified for state in swimming and bowling and competed in judo and water polo.

“I want so bad for the next Olympic champion to come out of Hawaii one day, because it wasn’t me and I want someone that like someone coming out of Hawaii for that, because I believe the spirit of Hawaii is like no other. Hawaii is always home for me and I’m going to plug this one. University of Hawaii, lets start a women’s wrestling program because we were the first to sanction girls wrestling in high school but we need to keep our locals home because they want to achieve great things and we want to give them opportunities,” said Chun.

She competed for Missouri Valley College, where she was a star on one of the pioneer women’s college wrestling team programs. Chun made the Senior Women’s National Team while still a student at Missouri Valley.

Chun was a two-time University Nationals champion and placed fourth at the University World Championships in 2004. She placed fifth at the 2001 Junior World Championships, after finishing eighth in 2000, and was the 2000-01 FILA Junior Nationals champion.

Since 2017, she has been Assistant National Women’s Coach for USA Wrestling, during which American women have won six gold medals, four silver medals and five bronze medals at the world championships and a gold, a silver and two bronze at the 2020 Olympics.

The induction ceremony will be held at the 45th Honors Weekend on June 3-4, 2022 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

For more information on the event, click here.

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