The Anoka Torch: A Look At United States Greco’s Most Successful Pipeline

Greco-Roman, forever recognized as the oldest and most brutal style of wrestling in the world, boasts of a lengthy history dating back to Ancient Rome and the very first Olympic Games. It is a discipline that has seen many changes throughout the past millennia, but the essence for which it is celebrated has never altered: at its core, Greco-Roman is defined by roughly-contested man-to-man combat.

Nowhere in the United States is this style more prevalent and revered than the confines of a small town in the suburbs of Minnesota known as Anoka.

Anoka, Minnesota has produced more Greco-Roman athletes who later became World Team members and Olympians than any other location in the country. To emphasize this point even further, Anoka has seen five athletes make US Olympic Teams, a run that began in the 1960’s.

In 1968, a pair of brothers, Jim and Dave Hazewinkel, made the Mexico City squad, and four years later in Munich, they were at it again. Another interesting fact few may be aware of is that the 1972 US Olympic Team Trials were actually held in Anoka’s brand new fieldhouse, as its construction had been completed in the summer of ’72. Continue reading at