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Don't Mess With Marcie

Smack-talking women's wrestlers at the Olympics? What, did someone sneak Vince McMahon and his rowdy WWE coterie in here on fake credentials?

"I heard she wanted a rematch," said Marcie Van Dusen, the U.S. champ at 121 pounds, speaking of the decorated Japanese champion, Saori Yoshida, whom Van Dusen beat at the Women's World Cup in January. "So I thought I'd come back and give her one. . . . Let's do it again, Yoshida."

Van Dusen, a 26-year-old from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., is one of four members of the U.S. squad in women's wrestling, an event that made its Olympics debut in 2004 in Athens. All four--Van Dusen, Clarissa Chun (105.5 pounds), Randi Miller (138.75) and Ali Bernard (158.5) are first-time Olympians, with some of them having ousted members of the trailblazing 2004 squad during the Olympic trials.

When Van Dusen beat Yoshida at the World Cup, it was a Rulon Gardneresque upset in the women's wrestling community, as Yoshida at the time was a perfect 119-0 in senior competition and publicly proclaimed her goal of retiring following the Beijing Summer Games--after winning the gold, of course--with her perfect record intact.

"I knew she had [gone] 119 matches without a loss," Van Dusen said, "so I couldn't let her continue with that."

If she conquers Yoshida again and takes the gold medal herself, perhaps Van Dusen can focus her complete attention on the next target on her hit-list: Her older brother and longtime tormenter, T.J.

Despite T.J.'s critical role in his sister's meteoric wrestling career, he's in even more need of a butt-whuppin' than is Yoshida, the way Marcie Van Dusen tells it.

"My brother beat me up a lot," she said. "He would come home from wrestling matches and try out all his moves on me. So I figured I had to learn to fight back. So his coach asked me if I wanted to wrestle. So I showed up at practice [beginning at the age of 8] and learned how to fight back.

"He still beats me up, and he's 32 now. I go back home and give him a big hug, and it ends up being a headlock. . . . I'm 26 now, so it's embarrassing now. I'm waiting to get him, eventually, someday. He has to get a little older, a little fatter first."

So, T.J., if you're here in Beijing. . . Put down that pork dumpling and watch your back. Your sister is tough when she's determined. Just ask Yoshida.

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 7, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
 
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