The mobile Brute Adidas Studios return home again after a long days journey in to night. Yup, Las Vegas is a ton of work. Hats off to our own Steve Foster and Johnny Johnson. Nice job guys. Also, To: Gary Abbott, Rich Bender, Larry Nugent, Craig Sesker and the rest of the talented crew of USA Wrestling. Each of you amazed me with the professional approach you took on this very important event. USAW did this right. Thank you! Also, thank you on behalf of the fans for working with NBC on getting an on line broadcast approved for the finals each night. That was cool. Room for improvement but non the less a first of its kind and a huge success with the results given. The fans were great. Van Stokes was terrific to work with and I can see why he is USA Wrestling's Man of the Year. A humble guy, deserving and giving. So with that said, we plow ahead in to the great unknown..............
This week on TDR-
Brian Smith- Head Coach of U of Missouri joins us to discuss Ben Askren's performance and ultimate win of his weight class over Mo. On his reaction to Askren winning the trials:
"Ben believed in himself that he was going to do this. It didn't surprise when he won. He expected it and he's expecting to win the gold."
Ben: On when being an Olympian sunk in: "It really sunk in yesterday. I was coming back and Coach Smith said I want you to come in and speak to the kids about how I got from point A to point B. From the first day I started wrestling to now when I'm an Olympian. I don't really like talking about myself in front of a bunch of kids and it's kind of hard to do. Then I started thinking this is a lifelong dream. I'm an Olympian, and it hit me. This is two times a day working out, for 9, 10, 11, 12 years now. Grinding injuries, everything and it just hit me. I started bawling in my car. Everything hit me and it was like, wow this is a lifelong dream and it's here now. I enjoyed it the night before. I had so many good friends, family and support out in Vegas. And last week, before the tournament, I rented out a room for 40 people to celebrate afterwards. Kind of calling my shot, but I didn't tell anyone until the day of. And then we went over there and had a big celebration all my friends were there, we had a blast."
On his new T-shirts: "It's a Chinese flag and it's got my profile on one side and it says, `Putting the Chin in China.' I gave them out to all my friends and family that came to Vegas. I had by far the rowdiest crowd at the whole tournament. They actually banned anyone wearing a `Chin in China' shirt from buying alcohol because they were that rowdy."
Bruce Burnett- Head Coach of the Naval Academy joins us for his perspective on the Trials and summer camps and continued preparation for the coming fall. A long time, many time coach at the international level, Bruce is sure to have a unique perspective on the trials. Heavyweight wrestler Scott Steele (Baltimore, Md.), a rising senior at the Naval Academy, placed third in the 120 kg weight class (freestyle) at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Sunday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. By virtue of his finish, he has qualified as the second alternate for the 2008 Olympics slated for Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, China. Steve Mocco, who represented the New York Athletic Club, defeated favorite Tommy Rowlands in the best-of-three championship to earn the Olympic invite. Steele came into the competition seeded sixth after taking seventh place at the 2008 U.S. Freestyle National Championship in April. Seven of the eight wrestlers competing at 120 kg in the Olympic Trials competed in challenge matches, while Rowlands, the winner of the 2008 U.S. Freestyle National Championship, automatically qualified for the title match.
Mark Johnson- Head Coach of Illinois will join us. Finally this team member of the 1980's Olympic Team was recognized. Illinois head coach Mark Johnson and his teammates from the 1980 United States Olympic wrestling team were honored at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Las Vegas, June 13-15. That year, the U.S. team boycotted the Olympics, meaning that those athletes sacrificed their dreams of competing on the world's biggest stage. Coach Johnson said: "This is a nice honor by USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Committee," The U.S. Olympic trials took place June 13 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas
Teague Moore- Head Coach of Clarion. Coach Moore makes his return to the show this Saturday. Teague and his staff has Clarion back on track and yes its starting to make waves. Tune in and find out why our road trip to western PA last season was so important to me, the community and the wrestlers who compete for Teague.
Josh Weitzel- University of Oklahoma (Oxford, PA) he wrestled 2 years at Michigan and after neck surgery he transferred to OU and Redshirted a year and wrestled at 74 and 84 as a senior. Now he's graduated and will be coaching at Norman HS with Bo Manes as Head Coach. What a pair. Team Captain whiles at OU he had the deciding pin at last years Bedlam giving OU the win over OSU for the first time in 12 years stunning the wrestling world. Josh was president of the OU Chapter of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Council) helping to provide community service with projects like Habitat for Humanity. Josh is getting married to his long time fiance Allison who also teaches in the Norman School District.
Harley Race- This professional wrestling great reaches out to assist the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo. This fine facility received a ton of damage due to recent floods and much of the work remains to be done. The wrestling community is true to its roots. If you have an opportunity to reach out and help financially I urge you to call Kyle or anyone of the staff at the museum and make them an offer. 319-233-0745 Harley and his talented bunch of wrestling performers will be doing there best at Young Arena to help raise funds and awareness.
So with the trials over, the teams have been set, the real work of the next 8 weeks begins. What to et, how best to prepare, where to train, etc, etc. I invite each of you to make a donation to assist each one of these athletes and those in the future by making a donation of any size, it all matters, to: Fuelthedream.org
God Bless each and everyone of you and may God Bless Team USA!