At 18, an Olympian With an Upside; at 22, Forced to Retire

SHOREVIEW, Minn. — The enlarged cutout on the wall of the PINacle Wrestling School, in an industrial park here north of Minneapolis, shows Jake Deitchler’s finest moment in Greco-Roman wrestling. On his knees with fists clenched, Deitchler screams with joy after winning the 2008 Olympic trials at 146 pounds, making him the first high school wrestler in 32 years to qualify for the United States team.

Four years later, Deitchler looks about the same as the 18-year-old on the wall, though perhaps a little more muscular. He coaches grade-school wrestlers now, and when they kicked a soccer ball to warm up, Deitchler jumped in enthusiastically — at least until the ball caromed near his head. Then Deitchler had to remember to duck. Continue reading at

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