Message from John Carter

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Death of a Dream

This weekend in Iowa, the US Olympic Trials are taking place for Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling.  The guy you see above, Danny Felix, is a 122-pound wrestler who has spent the last few years of his life preparing for today. 

A lot of the wrestlers who showed up in Iowa City to wrestle this weekend were college wrestlers who had spent the last year wrestling folkstyle.  They went to Iowa City to give it a go--just to see if they could make the US Olympic Team and go to London. 

But, Danny, along with quite a few other men and women, has taken the last few years and done NOTHING but prepare for today.  How would you like everything in your life to come down to three two-minute periods?  Win, and you have a shot at going to London, winning a medal, appearing in Vanity Fair and on Good Morning America.  Lose and you are consigned to the dustbin of history.

Danny Felix has wrestled in international tournaments.  He has wrestled almost every wrestler in his weight class in the United States.  Although Danny did not do extremely well in college, his post-college career has left him ranked in the top five of wrestlers in the US in freestyle. 

Above you see Danny wrestling one of the guys I really like in wrestling: Logan Steiber.  Logan won an NCAA Championship this past March (I was there!) and is a silver medalist in international wrestling.  Danny beat Logan.

Here's another look at Danny.  I think you can see from this picture why I like him.

It blows my mind that Danny is only 5'5" and 122 pounds.  He looks like a monster in that photo.  Yeah, he'd kill me, but I would love to wrestle with him.  I don't think my weight advantage would do me much good, but I'd enjoy it none-the-less.

Anyway, Danny went to Iowa, and...failed.  He wrestled all the way to the semi-finals before being beaten.  Danny's dream is over.  He may be able to wait another four years for the next Olympics, or he may not.  Age is tough on a wrestler.  Your prime years usually end around 30. 

I wish Danny well.  I hope he gets more chances to compete, or that he gets a chance to coach.  Either way,  he certainly looks good in a singlet.


2 comments:

  1. Discovered your blog last weekend and read all your postings in an evening. Reading the clarity of your thoughts and the content of your ideas was like walking into an unarticulated part of my life. I always wanted to wrestle as a kid but opted to swim laps instead.

    I know very little about wrestling but had a good introduction watching the Olympic team trials on television. I was awestruck by C.P. Schlatter. He deserves a mention, don't you think?

    As a misplaced Southerner, I enjoy your references to the South. Let's chat some rainy evening.

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  2. C.P. is great. I agree. But you know what? I've had a real hard-on for little brother Dustin since I first saw him in high school. Check out youtube for a great video of Dustin Schlatter wrestling old arch-nemesis Brent Metcalf. It's just a shame that those two didn't get a chance to wrestle again at the Olympic Trials.

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