Jordan Burroughs is an American and Olympic freestyle wrestling, champion. These are some of his highlights!
Timmins Wrestling kicked off the start of its 2010-11 season Monday night with a training session at École secondaire catholique Thériault.
Neil Bangs, one of the coaches of the club, said they usually get about 30 to 40 athletes " ranging from 12 to 18 years old " out at the start of the season.
"This year we did a little bit more promoting, so we are hoping to get a little bit more than that, "he said. "We are hoping to get around the 50 mark.
"The ones we are getting out are kids that range from Grade 6 right up to Grade 12, so there is a wide range of ages."
During the course of the year the wrestlers work out four times a week.
"Because of the limitless amount of moves that can be delivered in wrestling, what happens is a lot of it is based on technique, "Bang said.
"So for the first three or four months we train them to try and get the moves down and then after that as the season goes along it becomes more conditioning and fine tuning their moves.
"A wrestler is developed over three, or four, or five years, so it is a stepping stone for them to hopefully go into a university program and maybe even compete for Canada one day."
In addition to technique, strength is another important component for wrestling.
"Because of the different body types, and different sizes and different genders, I have seen some people who have a lot of upper body strength be successful in wrestling, "Bangs said.
"And I have seen people whose lower body is extremely strong and they are able to lift and get their back into it and get people off the ground. So really it is a combination of everything.
"What we try and train is the total body, to make sure they develop everywhere, so it gives them an advantage of being able to pick and choose their style of wrestling " if they are going to be a shooter or if they are going to be a grinder, or a thrower."
Wrestling is pretty much a year round sport, with athletes beginning to train in mid-September and the summer season wrapping up in early September.
The first tournament for the Timmins Wrestling athletes will be the first weekend in November in Sudbury.
It will be a good warmup for a local tournament " the North Eastern Ontario Athletic Association championships " at Thériault on Dec. 11.
"We are expecting teams from Sudbury, the Soo, Elliot Lake, Sturgeon Falls and even a team from Thunder Bay, "Bangs said.
"We will have four mats set up and they will be running all day."
The coach said there is a close link between the club system and the high school system.
"Because the coaches are pretty much the same coaches for the high school program as the club program, it's kind of like one group all together, "Bangs said.
"So what happens is they don't do extra training, the just pretty much follow the same practice schedule. It's just to help the sport out in the city of Timmins."
In terms of high school wrestlers, so far the club only has athletes from Thériault and O'Gorman High School.
"What we are trying to do is promote the club within the other high schools and hopefully we will be able to pick up a few athletes here and there, "Bangs said.
"And hopefully it will generate a need in the schools to maybe start up a program. It would be nice to see about 20 kids from O'Gorman, 20 kids from TH&VS and 20 kids from RMSS."
The coach said they are at the beginner stage of trying to promote the sport within the city.
"The club program in Ontario and the high school program in Ontario are very closely linked because of the limited amount of athletes who wrestle, "Bangs said.
"There are enough wrestlers who wrestle in Ontario but you can't really generate a club program like hockey does and a high school program like hockey does.
"It is kind of linked a lot. Even for us, our provincial championships, if you win a provincial championship it gives you a ranking for OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations).
"The OAWA, which is the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association, kind of caters to the high school level because there is a big pool of athletes at the high school level that they are hoping to be able to continue later on in university and then after that develop into world-class athletes."
Timmins Wrestling isn't just concerned about developing high school athletes, however.
Bangs pointed out that in Ottawa, for example, they have 800 wrestlers at the bantam level " 12 and 13 year olds.
"A lot of the tournaments cater to them also, so you will have a high school tournament being run on one side of the gym and you will have all the bantam wrestlers on the other side at the same time, "he said.
"Most of the tournaments we go to you have both of them " the high school athletes and the bantam athletes."
When Bangs wrestled at the high school level there were a handful of programs throughout the North, but they pretty well died out between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s.
"When I started we had like five or six athletes and now we are up to like 30 or 40 and you have girls and boys, "he said.
"Just recently we sent another one of our athletes off to university, he was a provincial champion, an OFSAA champion and a national champion."
That kind of success, combined with the exploits of Canadian wrestlers at the Olympics and the World Championships, is bound to boost the popularity of the sport.
While the WWE, and other television franchises, might have the word wrestling in their name, there is little comparison between their theatrics and the actual sport that awards medals " not belts " at the Olympics.
"What you see on TV is pretty much a show, it's orchestrated and choreographed, but what you see here is not at all, "Bangs said, in explaining the major difference between the two versions of the sport.
"It's a sport that is very similar to judo, in a sense, where you have a lot of holds and a lot of take downs. You are trying to expose your opponent or control your opponent more than anything else."
An unlike professional "wrestling "where you have to be 6-6 and 350 pounds, true wrestling is a sport that can be enjoyed by anybody.
"Pretty much any body type and any gender can wrestle, "Bangs said.
"So if you are a 110 pound boy, or a 150 pound girl, there is a category for you. You don't wrestle any higher than within 10 pounds of your own weight. Athletes compete against their own age level and their own skill level.
There are many styles of wrestling, as well, within the amateur version of the sport.
"There's grappling, there's freestyle, which we do, there's Greco-Roman " which is pretty much not attacking anything except the upper body " there's all kinds, "Bangs said.
"In Canada it seems to be freestyle that is the most popular and pretty much all tournaments are geared toward that, but you do see a rise in grappling because of the whole UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) thing."
Timmins Wrestling will be holding a meet and greet session for parents on Monday, Sept. 27, at Thériault, from 6:30-7 p.m.
The organization also has a website " www.timminswrestling.com " to provide more information on the sport.
By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States, has named John Smith of Stillwater, Okla., and Terry Brands of Iowa City, Iowa as coaches of the 2010 U.S. Freestyle World Team.
"It's an honor to coach this team and it's definitely something I look at as building toward the 2012 Olympics for our freestyle team. It's a great challenge for us as a team as we continue to build toward being the best," said Smith.
Both have coached past U.S. World and Olympic teams in freestyle wrestling. Smith was the coach of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, as well as the 1998, 1999 and 2009 U.S. World Team Coach. Prior to taking the Iowa position, Brands worked as USA Wrestling's National Freestyle Resident Coach from 2005-2008, and coached with the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and three U.S. World Teams (2005-07). Both have coached individual World and Olympic champion wrestlers for the United States.
Both are among the greatest freestyle wrestlers in history, and have been elected as Distinguished Members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Smith won two Olympic gold medals (1988, 1992) and four World titles (1987, 1989-91), stringing his six gold medals in consecutive years. Brands was a two-time World champion (1993, 1995) and won an Olympic bronze medal in 2000.
Smith went on to say, "the team is different this year, from a standpoint that there are some new athletes who broke through. I do believe this tells us we are building our depth back up in freestyle wrestling. The expectation for us is that we win several more medals than we did last year."
Smith served as a co-head coach for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Sydney, Australia. The U.S. won four individual medals, including a gold medal from Brandon Slay.
He is currently the head coach at Oklahoma State Univ., one of the most successful Div. I wrestling programs in history. He is the winningest coach in Oklahoma State history, with a 296-44-5 career record. He has led the Cowboys to five NCAA team titles (1995, 2003-2006).
Oklahoma State has won 11 Big 12 team titles under Smith. Eight times, Smith has been Big 12 Coach of the Year. As an athlete, Smith was considered by many the best freestyle wrestler in U.S. history. He claimed gold medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, and won four World gold medals (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991). His six straight World-level titles is unprecedented. He also won titles at the Pan American Games (twice), Goodwill Games (twice) and the World Cup. Smith won most of the major awards in amateur athletics, including the James E. Sullivan Award, the USOC SportsMan of the Year and the World Trophy. He was FILA Wrestler of the Year in 1991, and won the 1990 FILA Master of Technique Award.
He is a member of the FILA International Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, along with many other major honors. In 2004, Smith was presented with the Titan Award by the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the next year, he joined his brother Pat as one of 15 wrestlers named to the NCAA's 75th Anniversary Team. Smith was a two-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma State (1987-88) and a three-time All-American. He originally hails from Del City, Okla., where he won two state high school titles.
They will work with USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones of Colorado Springs, Colo., and the USA Wrestling national coaching staff to lead the team that will compete at the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 6-12.
Smith serves as the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University, and Brands is the assistant wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. Their programs are annually among the most successful in college wrestling, with Oklahoma State and Iowa having won the most NCAA team titles of any other programs.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Three-times Olympic freestyle wrestling champion Buvaisar Saitiev has decided to retire after a career that has spaned nearly two decades.
Saitiev, 34, one of only three wrestlers to have won three Olympic titles, was thinking of bidding for a record fourth gold at the 2012 Games in London but then changed his mind.
"I'm not sure I can still compete at the highest level, "the Chechen, who won Olympic gold in Atlanta in 1996, in Athens in 2004 and last year in Beijing, told reporters in his home town of Krasnoyarsk.
Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by John Mehaffey
By DAN McCOOL - [email protected]
Randy Lewis, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist, believes he has one more freestyle wrestling tournament in him.
That tournament is today's Northern Plains Regional at Young Arena in Waterloo. Lewis, who is 22 days shy of his 50th birthday, will compete at 163 pounds.
"I just want to find out. This is more about my own personal knowledge," said Lewis, who lives in Iowa City. "I've always felt like I have one tournament in me, and I want to wrestle it.
"I'm not doing this to qualify for Council Bluffs, I'm already qualified for Council Bluffs if I wanted to. If I were to win (Northern Plains) and feel good, I'd have to think about it."
The champions in freestyle today qualify for the World Team trials May 30-31 in Council Bluffs.
Because of his gold medal, Lewis could compete in the world trials without having to qualify through a regional tournament.
Lewis is not the oldest wrestler to compete in a regional or national tournament according to Craig Sesker, communications manager for USA Wrestling. Shaun Scott of Millersville, Pa., was 61 when he competed in Greco-Roman at the National Open last month in Las Vegas.
Sesker said Lewis is the oldest world or Olympic team member to compete in an event, however, beating Greg Gibson by two years.
"I've been thinking about it for 17 years. It was a one-day decision " I wasn't training for it," Lewis said. "I decided this spur-of-the-moment three weeks ago ... I weighed 183 before practice, worked out a little bit and a sauna afterwards and got down to 177 and said, 'You know what, I'm going to do it.' "
As Lewis closes in on a landmark birthday, he's 261/2 pounds over the 136.5 pounds he weighed while winning gold in Los Angeles in 1984. Lewis was at 149.5 pounds when he last competed, in the 1992 Olympic Trials.
A groin injury halted Lewis's bid to make the 1996 Olympic team. The two-time NCAA champion at Iowa also considered wrestling in the Midlands Open last year.
Lewis has wrestled 27 world or Olympic medalists. He's not sure what to expect today.
"I might get hurt the first match, I might get real tired," Lewis said. "I probably will get real tired, but you know what? I've watched some of the guys wrestle and some of these guys stand out there and do nothing. I can stand there and do nothing for 2 minutes, too. If they come after me, I might get real tired, but I might score 6 points pretty quick."
A 6-point differential or scoring two 3-point moves automatically wins a 2-minute period in the best-of-three format.
Former Iowa coach Dan Gable, who coached Lewis in college and during the 1984 Olympics, said there could be a specific purpose for his return.
"It's kind of like he's telling us that we've made it easy enough that 50-year-olds can wrestle in it," Gable said, "or he's telling us we need a little excitement in it, maybe he can spice it up a little bit."
Lewis said he's had plenty of folks tell him he's goofy for returning to the mat.
"I'm too old to train, my body gets beat up training," Lewis said, "but I'm so confident in myself that I don't really think I need to train for one tournament."
More of the old guard could succeed on the mat, Lewis said.
"I'm not the only one that I think could win a tournament like this who is in their 40s," Lewis said. "I think there are several other people that could, but they wouldn't do it unless they trained really, really hard. If they trained really, really hard, they'd get too beat up to wrestle, so it's a Catch-22 there. I think I'm the only one goofy enough to go out and try it."
Gable said it might be something else.
"I don't think he's crazy, I just think he's missing something and he needs a little action, a little excitement in his life right now," Gable said. "I don't think he's looking to become a world champion this year right now, I think he's just looking to have some fun."