NewsAthlete of WeekUSAWKennedy Blades

Kennedy Blades named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Kennedy Blades Athlete of the Week

Photo: Kennedy Blades hand raise following her semifinal victory at the 2023 Pritchard Companies U.S. Open Championships presented by FloWrestling at South Point Arena in Las Vegas. (John Sachs/

Kennedy Blades (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids WC) was named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on May 3, 2023.

The 2021 U20 World champion and 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up dominated the deepest weight class at the 2023 Pritchard Companies U.S. Open Championships presented by FloWrestling, regardless of style or age group.

Blades topped the 76 kg Senior women’s freestyle bracket that included seven current or past U.S. National Team members, six-time World champion and Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray among those ranks.

With three technical falls and a pin across four matches wrestled, Blades was the clear choice for Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. In the semifinal round she pinned three-time NCWWC champion and USA Wrestling Women’s College Wrestler of the Year Yelena Makoyed at the 3:57 mark. The feather in her championship cap was a stunning 12-2 technical fall over Gray in the gold medal match.

With the victory in Las Vegas, Blades has secured her place at Final X where she will face the winner of the Senior World Team Trials Challenge for a spot on the 2023 U.S. World Team that will compete in Belgrade, Serbia, this summer. Final X is set for June 10 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

To nominate a wrestler for this honor please email the athlete's name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments, and career accolades to