Posts Tagged ‘defensive end’
Behind the flailing arms, twisted torsos and puffy ears of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Arizona State sophomore Anthony Robles was the most noticeable wrestler in the building.
Robles was born without his right leg. “The doctors didn’t know why,” he said. “Everything else is fine. I just didn’t have another leg.”
Early in his youth, his mother obtained a prosthetic for him. Robles used the artificial limb for less than a year before discarding it.
“I was about 5 years old,” he said. “but it really just slowed me down. I remember my mom made me wear it for about 30 minutes and she made me walk around the house with it, to get used to it. And whenever I could, I’d just try to take it off.”
“So she really left it up to me to decide what I wanted to do and she supported me all the way through, along with my dad. And I owe everything I’m doing now to them. They treated me just like a normal kid growing up. I really didn’t even know I only had one leg.”
Robles credits his use of crutches throughout his life for building his upper body strength and a vice-like grip, which helps him bench press 300 pounds. In high school, he tried other sports, including football, where he was a 90-pound freshman defensive end. Then he discovered wrestling, a mat-oriented competition, an arena in which he competes physically on a more equal basis and benefits from his remarkable spirit and work ethic.
“On one side, I don’t have the balance that these other wrestlers have, so I have to kind of accommodate that and find different positions that work best for me,” said Robles, who won back-to-back state high school championships at Mesa (Ariz.) High. “On the other hand, my strength is my advantage and they really just kind of equal out. I just have to get into positions they’re not comfortable in and stick with my strategy.”
Read more about this amazing athlete: One wrestler stands apart from the rest