Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Audrey Jimenez
by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling
As Hispanic Heritage Month continues, USA Wrestling aims to spotlight athletes in the Hispanic community that have had an impact on the sport both on and off the mat. Audrey Jimenez, US National Team member at 50 kg, is a young athlete with a bright future. Jimenez is the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound wrestler in the latest National Girls High School Preseason Rankings, a 2023 U20 World medalist, and looks to reach the podium at the 2023 U23 World Championships in Tirana, Albania, later this month. She is entering her senior year of high school in Tucson, Arizona, and competed at Final X in June.
Hispanic heritage isn't just a part of who she is, it's a driving force that shapes her journey in the sport of wrestling. To Audrey Jimenez, “Being Hispanic means culture and tradition. The strength of our family bonds are powerful and stretch across generations. The support, encouragement, and love help us all become better versions of ourselves. The food, music, and colors of Mexico warm my heart and remind me of these values.”
Audrey’s story isn’t without challenges. She explained that “learning to overcome losses, learning to have a positive mindset, be confident, and not be so hard on myself through the difficulties is still an ongoing challenge.”
In her pursuit of excellence on and off the mat, Audrey embodies a leader that recognizes the importance that her culture has had to her journey. “It’s an honor to be able to lead as an example and change the generations to come.
Being a leader has taught me the importance of giving back to the people and community that has supported me in my journey. It gives the Hispanic community motivation to follow their dreams,” Audrey said.
For Audrey, her journey into the sport of wrestling started with her family. “I started wrestling because my Tio opened up a jiu jitsu gym and invited me to try it out,” she explained.
“He also introduced wrestling and I fell in love with the sport. Especially because of its individual aspects. Ever since I started, I’ve felt behind compared to others in the sport so I work as hard as I can to be the best I can be. I’m blessed to have other women before me leading as an example and opening up opportunities for myself and my other girls.”
Audrey Jimenez's journey in wrestling, celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month, exemplifies the resilience and determination rooted in her cultural background. As the top-ranked pound-for-pound wrestler, her achievements reflect not just her talent but also the influence of her Hispanic heritage. Driven by family and cultural identity, Audrey has become a leader in her community and in the sport.