When a Lynbrook schoolgirl from Long Island, New York shimmers like a gem in the field of wrestling, more specifically after defeating male wrestlers, it reminds us the replication of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan's movie 'Dangal'. The Hindi-language sports drama is based on the real-life Indian wrestlers and Olympians Geeta and sister Babita Kumari Phogat.
The girl named Ally Fitzgerald had chosen to pursue a wrestling career. She proved her talent in this field after fighting hard to assure her entrance to the boys wrestling team. Fitzgerald is also the only female from that region to win a boys' high school tournament.
People who have heard about two sisters from the Indian wrestling family, Geeta and Babita, could relate the story of Fitzgerald with them, as there are so many similarities from their journey to become a well-known personality in this men dominated field.
Both the sisters, who came from a place called Bhiwani, situated in India's northern region Haryana, had to fight against many odds.
"A lot of people don't like losing to a girl, so they try to use tactics like, 'oh this is gonna be easy, oh she's not good, and making fun of me and pointing, laughing. I can't focus on that, I focus on me," Fitzgerald said.
"Now getting older, some of the boys are getting stronger, so I have to focus on my technique and beat them with my technique," she further added.
While talking about her signature move, a hip throw, which Fitzgerald is doing since age 9, she told CBS that it was her brother who was practising the move on the mat. While watching him performing that move, she thought that "it was easy and I could do it."
On the other hand, Richie Renz, who is nurturing Fitzgerald as a coach, said, "First girl I've coached in 30 years I've been coaching varsity wrestling. Her skills are above average and when you see her wrestle you can tell she's technically sound."
When it comes to a sport, which needs extreme body strength and also tactful moves, Fitzgerald, who is 5 feet tall and 100 lbs, faced difficulties to keep up with her opponents.
Just how the Phogat sisters got the support of their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, who was also been on the same field, Fitzgerald also found her parents standing beside her as a pillar of support whenever she felt disappointed.
"I tell her you're not a girl wrestler. You are a wrestler, and the boys that walk out there, I see them thinking, 'oh it's a girl,' and when she goes out there, and she's got her hand raised, it's like the greatest feeling ever," said Fitzgerald's mother Rebecca.
According to reports, the enthusiastic female wrestler will be trying to get an entry to the national team and will continue wrestling in college as well. Later she will be aiming towards the big combat in Olympics also.