Sierra Brown Ton: Pursuing Her Passion to Represent Jamaica at the Olympic Games

By June 12, 2023
Sierra Brown Ton aspires to represent Jamaica at the Olympic Games. Sierra Brown Ton aspires to represent Jamaica at the Olympic Games.

Sierra Brown Ton, a 23-year-old female wrestler hailing from the United States, is making waves in the wrestling world as she sets her sights on representing Jamaica at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

Despite having the opportunity to try out for the USA wrestling team, Brown Ton's desire to don the Jamaican colors stems from her deep-rooted connection to the country and her eagerness to promote and expand the sport in Jamaica.

Brown Ton's journey into wrestling began when she was just 13 years old. Inspired by watching WWE matches with her father, she had always aspired to be a wrestler.

However, it wasn't until her brother needed a practice partner that she had her first taste of the sport. Fearlessly stepping into a room full of boys, Brown Ton's determination and hunger for wrestling only grew stronger. Throughout middle school and high school, she competed against boys since there were no girls' teams available.

 Attending Erickson Middle School and later Allen High School, Brown Ton's passion for wrestling grew alongside her dedication to academics.

She made the tough decision to focus on her studies, sacrificing state championships, in order to pursue her dream of wrestling in college. It was during her junior year in high school that she discovered women's wrestling in college, sparking a new goal in her wrestling career.

Currently studying business at the University of Iowa, Brown Ton aims to attend law school after graduation. She aspires to become a criminal attorney or specialize in litigation. Although she understands that her law career may evolve as she progresses through law school, her passion for the field remains strong.

Brown Ton's Jamaican roots play a significant role in her decision to represent Jamaica. While she was born and raised in the United States, her father and grandmother, Yulimira Stewart Ton are Jamaican.

They instilled in her a strong sense of Jamaican culture, and every summer, Brown Ton and her family would visit Jamaica to connect with their heritage.

“My father, my grandma, my mom’s dad, he’s from Jamaica and I may not have been raised in Jamaica but my father, my grandma, that side of the family always made it important and put effort for me to a part of Jamaican culture,” she said.

Her father, Esh’Chadar, a Muay Thai world champion, also influenced her athletic upbringing, imparting speed and athleticism to Brown Ton and her siblings – two brothers and two sisters.

Brown Ton officially obtained her Jamaican passport, solidifying her eligibility to compete for Jamaica.

She reveals that the decision to represent Jamaica though influenced by her roots, was hers and hers alone.

“I just thought it was an opportunity to expand Jamaica and put them on a platform. I mean, you heard about bobsledding. You don’t match that with Jamaica. And when you hear about female wrestling, you’re like ‘Oh, there’s female wrestling?’”

She recognizes that qualifying for the Olympics requires a rigorous process, including winning at the Pan American Games in May and participating in international tournaments.

However, she is resolute in her determination to reach the highest level of the sport, irrespective of the qualifying challenges.

The support from her family, coaches, and teammates drives Brown Ton's confidence. They believe in her abilities, and she mirrors their belief in herself.

Brown Ton's patient approach, paired with her unwavering determination, keeps her focused on her long-term goals. She remains unfazed by the opponents she may face, choosing to concentrate on her own performance rather than dwell on the names and reputations of her rivals.

Sierra's dreams of competing in the Pan Am Games were shattered when an unexpected setback forced her to miss out on the Olympic qualifier.

Unfortunately, an injury she had sustained earlier hadn't healed sufficiently, according to her coaches. It was a devastating blow for Sierra, who had been diligently working towards the Games for months including competing at the Caribbean Games qualifiers in December 2022.

The injury had initially occurred during a rigorous training session, and Sierra's coaches had played a significant role in her recovery process.

They had provided constant guidance, support, and expert medical advice, ensuring that Sierra received the best possible treatment. However, despite their efforts, time had not been on her side, and the injury didn't heal as quickly as anticipated.

Sierra's coaches, Head Coach Clarissa Chun, Associate Head Coach Gary Mayabb and Assistant Coach Tonya Verbeek, always focused on their athletes' well-being and long-term performance, made the difficult decision to prioritize her health over her immediate goals.

They understood the importance of allowing sufficient time for proper healing to prevent further damage and potential long-term consequences. Their influence and expertise were crucial in ensuring Sierra's overall well-being and athletic longevity.

Though disappointed, Sierra remained grateful for the guidance and care provided by her coaches. Their decision, while difficult, was made with her best interests in mind.

With their support, Sierra resolved to channel her energy into a comprehensive rehabilitation program, aiming to come back stronger and more resilient than ever.

While missing out on the Pan Am Games was undoubtedly a setback, Sierra's injury served as a valuable lesson in resilience and the importance of proper recovery. She recognized the influence of her coaches not only in her athletic development but also in their unwavering commitment to her overall well-being.

Sierra's journey is far from over, and with the support of her coaches, she was determined to overcome this obstacle and return to the competitive arena stronger and more determined than ever before.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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