Thielke wins silver medal, qualifies for Rio Olympics at World Olympic Qualifier in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey – U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion Jesse Thielke (Germantown, Wis./New York AC) earned a berth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with an inspiring performance at 59 kg/130 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the 2nd World Olympic Games Qualifier at the Bagcilar Sports Complex on Friday.

The 23-year-old Greco-Roman phenom Thielke won four matches in the first session of wrestling, clinching his trip to Rio by making the finals.

Athletes needed to place in the top two of their weight class to qualify their nation to compete at the Olympics. Since Jesse Thielke won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, he will compete at the Olympic Games for Team USA. This was the last qualifying event for the Olympics in wrestling, so the Greco-Roman field has been completed. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Six Olympic Trials champs to compete in final World Olympics Qualifier in Turkey, May 6-8

Six champions from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling will compete in the 2nd World Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament, set for Istanbul, Turkey, May 6-8.

These athletes will be attempting to qualify their weight class and themselves for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the last opportunity for nations to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games in the 18 Olympic weight classes.

There will be three Greco-Roman wrestlers, two women’s freestyle wrestlers, and one men’s freestyle wrestlers from the United States in this important competition. Continue reading

Chaska native Andy Bisek ready to wrestle at Olympics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Chaska native Andy Bisek floats like a butterfly and would like to be a bee…keeper.

“My grandpa did it. They had a farm, a family farm,” says Bisek. “I just find it interesting because the whole thing helps support the farm, the bees, you’re going to have a better crop if your plants and being pollinated. You’re just finding uses for everything.”

An aspiring bee keeper may not have been the profession you’d expect to hear from this wrestler. But Bisek is happy to be different. Look no further than his trademark bushy mustache. View/continue reading at www.kare11.com

Nine Olympic Trials champs to compete in Olympics World Qualifying Tournament in Mongolia, April 22-24

Nine champions from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling will compete in the 1st Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament, set for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, April 22-24.

These athletes will be attempting to qualify their weight class and themselves for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There will be four U.S. women freestyle wrestlers, three Greco-Roman wrestlers and two men’s freestyle wrestlers in this important competition.

So far, there have been two stages of Olympic Qualification. In these phases, the United States qualified for the Rio Olympic Games in nine weight classes, but did not qualify in nine other weight classes. The U.S. wrestlers who won the Olympic Trials in the nine non-qualified weight classes will be wrestling in Mongolia. The U.S. delegations in all three styles have already traveled to Ulaanbaatar to prepare for the tournament. Continue reading

Chicago wrestler’s remarkable journey reaches brink of Olympics

Joe Rau was finally ready to quit.

For years, his friends had teased him about his devotion to wrestling, the endless hours spent in the gym and his habit of signing up for any tournament he could find. They thought it all seemed excessive given his unspectacular results.

After Rau finished his high school career by losing back-to-back matches in the 2009 state tournament — the only one he qualified for in his four years at Chicago’s St. Patrick High School — he conceded his friends might have been right.

“I did good things in high school, but I just couldn’t get over the hump,” Rau said. “I thought maybe I didn’t deserve to compete with the best guys out there. I welcomed the idea of being done and letting the dream die.” Continue reading at www.chicagotribune.com

Gophers compete at Olympic Trials

Five Gopher alums challenged the nation’s best in both freestyle and Greco-Roman over the weekend in Iowa City at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. While every one of these five won at least one of his matches over the weekend, headlined by Pat Smith’s run to the championship series in Greco at 66 kilograms, none of the former Minnesota wrestlers captured a spot on Team USA.

Smith entered the weekend ranked fourth at his weight, meaning he outperformed his seed in making his appearance in the best-of-three series to decide the trials champion. Smith picked up decisions over Christopher Gonzalez and Michael Hooker in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before squaring off with RaVaughn Perkins for the championship. Smith won the first match, 2-0, before dropping the second match on tiebreaking criteria after the bout ended in a 2-2 tie. Perkins defeated Smith 9-2 in the rubber match to take the top spot. Continue reading