Given Andy Bisek’s weighty credentials — including two bronze medals from the world championships and a No. 5 world ranking — it seems reasonable to wonder whether he feels any pressure going into the Rio Olympics. Ask him about it, and you’ll see a knowing smile form under his famously bushy mustache.
Bisek, a Greco-Roman wrestler from Chaska, knows the burden of genuine stress. In 2012, a defeat at the Olympic trials cost him his place on the U.S. national team, along with his monthly stipend and health insurance. His wife, Ashley, was expecting their first child. Then a serious neck injury kept him out of competition for several months, leaving him unable to earn any prize money.
With a family to support and few options, Bisek began working at a liquor store in Colorado Springs, squeezing five shifts a week between twice-daily wrestling workouts. It left him exhausted, but not defeated. “I’d get to that afternoon practice, and I’d be so wiped out,” Bisek recalled. “My feet would be on fire from standing and running all day on a tile floor. And I thought, ‘If I can handle this, I’m going to be just fine when it comes to tournament time.’ ” Continue reading at startribune.com