Posts Tagged ‘wrestling’
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
Plunging a knife in again and again, diver Craig Clasen grapples with a 12ft tiger shark to protect a friend.
For two hours he wrestled with the giant, spearing it seven times, even drowning the beast before eventually finishing it off with a knife.
The group were about to leave the deep waters south of the Mississippi River’s mouth, when Ryan McInnis found himself alone in the company of a tiger shark.
With no time to lose, Clasen grabbed his speargun and swam to his stranded friend, who was being circled by the giant predator.
‘I positioned myself between Ryan and the shark and I tried to watch it for a second, hoping it would pass us by,’ explained 32-year-old Clasen.
‘The shark made a roll and looked like it was going to charge us so I just went ahead and took the conservative route and put a shaft through its gills.
Clasen has been free diving and fishing since an early age. Hailing from Mississippi, he was brought up in a fishing family, and is an expert in all fishing disciplines. Despite his experience, Clasen took no pleasure in disposing of the giant shark.
‘This was one of the most remorseful moments I have ever had in all of my years in hunting, gathering and fishing,’ explains Clasen.
‘Personally I never shoot anything or kill anything that I am not going to eat.’
Read more and see more pictures:Pictured: The moment a diver grappled with a 12ft tiger shark to save a friend
When the high school wrestling season began, Kody Neill of Holly had one simple goal. He wanted to qualify for the state high school wrestling tournament.
He never got that chance.
An auto accident on Dec. 27, 2008 claimed his life, but it couldn’t take his memory from his teammates and coach.
“Everyday at practice I still look for him to walk through the doors with that smile on his face,” Lyndon Wagner, coach of the Holly wrestling team, said.
“Oh, I know he’s with me,” Hayden Nordyke, a teammate of Kody’s, said. “I’ve even said sometimes I feel him with me when I get a little boost. I know that’s him, that he’s pushing me.”
Six wrestlers on the Holly team qualified for the state high school wrestling tournament. They will have the support of many from the town, including Kody’s family. As the individual wrestlers competed on the mat, Kyle and Gale Neill cheered them on.
“His dad will even come into the wrestling room and sit there and watch because there’s a piece of Kody in every single one of those wrestlers and he sees that,” Wagner said.
The loss of Kody has also driven the team to exceed expectation.
“I’ve never seen this team wrestle like this in my life,” Kyle Neill said. “You can tell they’ve go Kody in their hearts.”
Read more and watch this very well-done and touching story: Chasing championships and memories
Get your tissues ready as master storyteller Boyd Huppert does it again in the story of true inspiration. This is a truly amazing story about an extraordinary man.
We should all be so lucky to put in four years at high school and take away an experience so rewarding we wish it would never end.
It was like that for Billy Steil when the class of 1983 crossed the gym floor at Rocori High School.
“I didn’t want to leave,” says Billy as he sits in the boys locker room two hours before a wrestling meet.
His own wrestling career was cut short by a junior high school injury and concerns about heart problems more prevalent in Down Syndrome kids.
Now, 28 years and four coaches later, Billy Steil is still managing to manage.
“He’s just part of the team,” proclaims Paul Court, Rocori’s current coach.
For a generation of athletes and fans, Billy has come to symbolize the spirit of Rocori. “An icon is a good word,” says Nathan Humbert who wrestled for Rocori in the 1990s.
The only thing that makes him sad is that at season’s end everyone else has to go away.
“I’m gonna miss you,” he says to Dorf as tears well up in eyes. “I’m gonna miss you too Bill,” says the sturdy senior as he locks Bill in hug.
Rocori parent Molly Olivier has seen this before. “He’s extremely sensitive. He falls in love with the team and the seniors mean so very, very much to him every year and he gets upset that there’s a senior leaving, and we keep reminding him, there’s more coming up next year. They’re going to be your new best friend next year.”
Trust me when I say you really want to watch this story.
Watch the story: Land of 10,000 Stories: Rocori is ‘Billy’s Place’