Road to Rio – 2016 Olympics

Road to Rio – 2016 Olympics.

My goal is to compete as a wrestler for the United States in the 2016 Olympics. I have been training at the Olympic Training Center in Marquette, MI while attending college at Northern Michigan University for the last two years. I have been invited to train in Armenia with top tiered wrestlers in my weight class of 75 kg. This is an opportunity to train with the best in the world which will put me in the best position to go for USA gold in Rio in 2016. I will be in Armenia for 4 months and will return in April to compete in Nationals/World Team Trials in May (Las Vegas). I won Junior Nationals in 2014 and am looking forward to competing strong in 2015 as well. While in Armenia, I will be involved in an intensive training environment with a focus on live wrestling.

After winning the National Championship and being awarded the Outstanding Wrestler Award in the FILA Junior Greco-Roman National Championship, I went on to complete at the World Team Trials in Madison, WI. I was injured in the third match of the best of three tournament which resulted in having “Tommy John” surgery to repair my ulnar collateral ligament and avulsion fracture. The week before the surgery I was feeling pretty rotten, which I attributed to the medication the Dr.’s had me on. Actually, it was a bit more serious – I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (insulin dependent). It was never in my mind that I would not continue to wrestle. I simply considered the diabetes and surgery as challenges to overcome in the pursuit of my ultimate goal – being an Olympic wrestler for the USA.

I owe a special “thank you” to the medical staff at Kerlan-Jobe (Los Angeles), specifically, my surgeon Dr. Michael Banffy, and I am now back at 100%. Regarding my diabetes; I have developed a relationship with Dr. Louis Phillipson, an Endocrinologist, at the University of Chicago, and I am confident, with his expertise, I am able to control the diabetes and compete at the highest levels. I now skype with Dr. Phillipson on a regular basis and he has enlisted the help of an Endocrinologist in Armenia to work with for the next several months.

Thanks for following my journey