Rio 2016

Wrestling Coach Wanted a Hug, Got a Body Slam

Japanese wrestler Risako Kawai took Olympic gold in women's 62kg freestyle wrestling Thursday, beating Maria Mamashuk of Belarus. She dominated, winning 6-0 when time ran out (that's good if you have no idea how wrestling works). The 21-year-old won gold in her Olympic debut and she celebrated by doing a little of what got her there in the first place.

As her coach ran out to the mat for a celebratory hug, she lifted him into the air and slammed him to the mat like a rag doll. When he got up, she did it again. He finally got that hug on the third attempt, with a big smile on his face.

Her gold was significant for the Japanese wrestling team after the defeat of 13-time world champion Saori Yoshida in the women's 53kg freestyle wrestling competition. A gold for Yoshida would have been only the second time a female athlete in any sport won gold in four successive Olympics. 

Weirdly, Kawai wasn't the only wrestler who reacted to gold by slamming their coach to the mat. Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez celebrated his third straight Olympic gold in men's 130kg Greco-Roman wrestling with a little dance and a body slam of a coach much, much smaller than him.

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.