By Jake Smith
Four of the American Youth team have been awarded Congressional Honors after their success at the 2021 IMMAF Youth MMA World Championships.
Hannah Wagstaff, Irann Orozco, Andrea Frisque, and Allison Keenan were all presented with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition by Congressman Raul Ruiz (D) 36th District. Their coach, Sensei Eddie Bates was presented with a congressional honour too.
The USA had a very successful tournament, finishing third in the overall medals table, taking home 6 golds, 3 silvers & 8 bronze medals.
Speaking to NBC Palm Springs, IMMAF Brand Ambassador, Wagstaff expressed her gratitude at being recognised by Congressman Ruiz: “Having the fact that a congressman is gonna know who I am, I’ve gotten to meet him, that’s really exciting to me.
“I love having my city recognize me, my family recognizes me but something greater than that, something a lot more people know, that’s really exciting.”
Congressman Ruiz praised the young athletes achievements. He said: “It’s an incredible accomplishment they have done at such a young age.
”I love it because I live with incredibly strong women, I’ve been raised by incredibly strong women and to see more strong young ladies, I’m sure they come from strong women households, is an inspiration to everybody to know that you can accomplish this greatness in this sport that’s dominated by men, and be world champions and to me, that is enormously inspiring.”
Photo Credit: NBC Palm Springs
Rep. Raul Ruiz, Hannah Wagstaff, Irann Orozco, Allison Keenan, Sensei Eddie Bates