Bernard grateful for second chance in London

LONDON (AP) – Roughly three months ago, U.S. wrestler Ali Bernard was on her parents’ couch in Minnesota thinking she had blown her last chance for an Olympic medal.

Bernard was heavily favored to represent the U.S. at the London Games after taking fifth at the 2008 Beijing Games and bronze at the 2011 world championships. But Stephany Lee took the American spot at 72 kilograms with a surprising and decisive win over Bernard at the U.S. Olympic trials in Iowa City.

Then Lee got popped for pot. Continue reading at

State’s athletes ‘go fer’ the gold

This Friday, Chas Betts will attend one of the most exclusive parties in the world when he marches in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. Still, the wrestler from Albertville figures it will be pretty hard to top the bash his hometown threw for him Saturday.

About 225 people showed up at Neighbors Eatery and Saloon on Main Avenue to wish Betts well before he heads across the pond, where he will compete Aug. 6 in the 84-kilogram weight class in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympic Games. His mother, Pam, had the Olympic rings painted on her toenails as she hugged friends and relatives in the jam-packed bar. His wife, Kristi, sported gold eye shadow, and his grandma Nona handed out dozens of red, white and blue beaded bracelets she had made. Continue reading at

Olympics: Wrestling family uneasily recalls 1972 Munich tragedy, embraces 2012 success

At 5 years old, Sam Hazewinkel ran around his home in Rosemount wearing his father’s Olympic ring and Team USA jacket pretending he was an Olympian.

He wanted to be just like his father, Dave, and uncle Jim, twins from Coon Rapids who represented the United States as Greco-Roman wrestlers at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and then at the tragedy-marred 1972 Olympics in Munich. He heard many stories about those Games — but not until he was older did Sam learn about the darkest moment in Olympic history, known as the “Munich Massacre.” Continue reading at

2012 Junior & Cadet Nationals Day 8 Recap

The eight-day Junior & Cadet Nationals in Fargo that saw over 3,000 wrestlers and over 7,000 matches came to a close on Saturday with the conclusion of the Junior freestyle competition. Iowa’s Cory Clark won a title at 126 pounds and earned Outstanding Wrestler honors. Michigan’s Adam Coon capped off a Junior Triple Crown, becoming the only Junior to accomplish the feat this year. Continue reading at