Many American wrestling fans were excited to check out Olympic action earlier this month. The stage was set for the U.S. team to take home several medals, and they delivered. Our boys brought home two golds. While many observers were hoping for even more, this was an improvement over the 2008 Beijing games where Henry Cejudo won our country’s only wrestling gold medal at 55 kilograms. It is also the first time the U.S. wrestling team has won multiple gold medals since the 1996 Atlanta games.
Under the tutelage of legend Cael Sanderson, Jake Varner took home the other gold medal in the 96 kilogram division for men’s freestyle. Varner won four straight matches on his way to the championship. These included a dramatic semifinal match against Georgia’s George Gogshelidze that hinged on a second period tiebreaker. Varner went on to defeat Valerii Andriitsev of Ukraine in the gold medal round.
Going into the games there was no more prominent or hyped American wrestler than Jordan Burroughs. Much of the hype was caused by Burroughs himself. What else would you expect from the man with the “All I See Is Gold” Twitter handle? Burroughs lived up to his hype by winning the freestyle title at the 74 kilogram weight class. He proved dominant throughout the competition. He defeated imposing foes such as Russia’s Denis Tsargush on way to his title match with Sadegh Goudarzi of Iran.
In addition to the two golds, U.S. wrestlers also earned two bronze medals. Coleman Scott finished in third in men’s freestyle at 60 kilograms. On the women’s side of the freestyle competition, Clarissa Chun came home with a bronze medal at 48 kilograms.
We are extremely proud of the men and women of the United States Olympic wrestling team. We now look forward to the high school and college wrestling seasons.
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