Nothing can stop Kimberly Partida—not a concussion, and certainly not giving birth to and mothering fraternal twins.
Partida, who is 22 and better known by her ring alias ‘’Alina,” continues to pursue her love for wrestling.
“It’s a passion that I have always had,” she said. “And I’m glad I’m able to still do it, even now as a mother.”
Partida has been a wrestling fan her whole life. When she was a child, Partida’s father would take her and her brother to wrestling shows, and would even wrestle with her brother. Although soccer was a big part of her life as well growing up, wrestling was her true passion. So in 2015, Partida decided to step into the ring and chase her childhood dream.
She enrolled in her home town’s Newark’s Big Time Wrestling Academy. Her first day of training at the academy she described as an intense experience, about which she felt very nervous.
“I was sore the next day, for like a good month, but after a while, your body gets used to all the slams,” said Partida.
She made her wrestling debut in April 2016, but after only her second match she received the news that would change her life.
“Once I found out I was pregnant and finding out I was expecting twins, I knew in my heart, wrestling was unfortunately over for me,” Partida said. “It broke my heart so much. I cried like a baby at my last practice. Everyone said it would be OK and eventually if the time is right, I will return after my pregnancy. But I felt … deep down it wasn’t going to be that way. My life was going to change drastically.”
Marvin Tijerino Jr., media director for the Big Time Wrestling Academy, became good friends with Partida. Tijerino enjoys motivating wrestlers in the academy and one day told Partida after her pregnancy that “the only difference now is when you are back wrestling, you just have two little cheerleaders watching you.”
Focusing on raising her twins Xavier and Avianna—who are now 14 months—Partida yearned to wrestle again. After being out of the sport for a year and a half, “Alina” finally returned to the ring on Dec. 8, 2017.
But in her second match back, she got hurt.
“I got knocked out during the match and everyone just kind of froze,” Partida said. “It was something that was unfortunate, but I’m ready to go.”
Partida chose ring alias, “Alina,” as homage to her favorite singer, Selena Quintanilla, whose first name rhymes with it. Partida also makes her own wardrobes and aims for designing them with Quintanilla flavor.
When her wrestling career began, Alina was a fan favorite, recognized for her signature move, the “three Alinas.” But upon making her return, she has assumed the role of villain. She specializes in making crowds despise her, incorporating some of her native Spanish language in the ring when she yells “callate” or “quitate” at the crowd.
“Honestly, it’s so hard because I’m always smiling,” Partida said. “I’m always laughing and they will tell me like, ‘Stop smiling, you have to be mean.’”
Alina’s coach, Steve Balla, has been training her since she started in 2015. He said Partida is the type of wrestler who will try her best until she gets the moves right.
“At first I was kind of worried,” Balla said. “She had a hard time training, but when she did her first show, she did great, she had a lot of attitude, and had people dislike her.”
A full-time mom and nurse’s assistant, Partida still manages to find time to practice slams twice a week.
And when in the ring, Partida always searches the crowd to see her family watching her. Her biggest fans consist of her father and her brother Jonathan, who are both wrestling enthusiasts. Jonathan said that she is a source of inspiration for him and the Partida family.
“My family and her kids are proud … we are happy to see her continue her wrestling career and we are here to support her,” Jonathan said.
Partida is currently training for her next match in May. She says her goal is to wrestle in as many matches as she can. It’s what she loves.
“I just want to show my kids that no matter what happens in life … you can always do what you want and if you really love something and have a passion for it, nothing can stop you,” Partida said. “Nothing can replace the joy and love of being a mother. I wouldn’t change that for the world.”
Story by: Vitta Oliveri