Chasing medals must wait for Minnesota’s Olympic hopefuls

With the Tokyo Games now in 2021, local Olympic hopefuls reset dreams

Tori Dixon had begun to feel it was inevitable. With the sporting world essentially shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, and a rising chorus of voices pushing for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed, the Burnsville native had started to accept the fact that her Summer Games dream might be deferred.

She was still holding out hope, though, when she woke up Tuesday morning.

“Then I saw my phone was blowing up,’’ said Dixon, a member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team and a former Gopher. “And I read the news.

“Everyone had a million questions, but I was still trying to process what was going on. It was like a bomb dropped, and you just had to pick up the pieces.” Continue reading at

Kyle Snyder becomes youngest Olympic champion in U.S. history

RIO DE JANEIRO – Last September Kyle Snyder shocked the world and became the youngest World champion in U.S. wrestling history. Today he leaves Rio with Olympic gold.

Snyder’s legend grew on Sunday afternoon inside Carioca Arena 2 as he became the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history at age 20 with a 2-1 victory over eight-time World and Olympic medalist Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan.

Scoring opened in the gold medal match with Snyder securing a single leg and driving Goziumov out of bounds for one point. The two traded points off shot clock violations in the second. Snyder was able to fend off every Goziumov attack throughout the match and secure the U.S. its 50th Olympic gold in men’s freestyle.

“It was a tough match. I wrestled that guy like a month ago and he beat me, so I’m happy that I’ve been able to improve on that performance, and, I keep saying it, I’m really thankful and grateful that I’ve even had this opportunity wrestle and my family and friends have been down here, to share it with them,” said Snyder. Continue reading at

Snyder advances to Olympic finals, Molinaro searching for bronze on final day in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO – Both U.S. wrestlers are still in medal contention on the final day of the Olympic Games with 2015 World champion Kyle Snyder wrestling for gold and Frank Molinaro still in the hunt for bronze.

Snyder, the youngest World champion in U.S. history, brutalized his side of the 97 kg bracket to earn a spot in the gold medal match against seven-time World and Olympic medalist Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan.

“I am ready to go,” Snyder said. “I am excited. There will be a little break and then I will be ready to wrestle.”

The two behemoths met at the Grand Prix of Germany last month with Goziumov edging Snyder, 2-1. Continue reading at

Cox comes up clutch to win bronze, Dlagnev finishes fifth at Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO – The next young U.S. superstar has arrived. 21-year-old J’den Cox proved to the World he belonged and claimed an Olympic bronze medal on Saturday night.

Staring down Cox in his bronze medal match was the formidable three-time World medalist Reineris Salas Perez of Cuba who entered the Olympics ranked No. 3 in the World.

After several fascinating exchanges between the two, Cox led Salas 1-0 deep into the second period and was placed on the shot clock with just over one minute to go. A wild turn of events ensued after Cox secured a double leg on the Cuban as the shot clock expired. Initially, Salas was awarded the go-ahead point with six seconds remaining in the match. After official review, Cox was awarded a takedown and a 3-0 lead. Salas did not finish the match out of protest and was disqualified, giving the U.S. its first men’s freestyle medal of the Rio Olympics.

“It was awesome to know that I accomplished a great feat,” Cox said following his bronze medal victory. “That wasn’t my goal. I am not going to say that I accomplished my goal because my goal was to win gold. I am not bitter about it. I am happy. I accomplished a great feat, and so many people never get the chance to even come close to taste it. I got to taste it. I enjoy it and am very happy about it.” Continue reading at

World champion Snyder, along with Molinaro, get draws for final day of Olympic freestyle on Sunday

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 2015 World champion Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) at 97 kg/213 lbs. as well as Frank Molinaro (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 65 kg/143 lbs. have weighed in and received their first round draws for the Olympic Games. They will compete in Carioca 2 Arena on Sunday, the final day of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Snyder, as the defending World champion is the No. 1 seed, and is in the top spot of the top bracket. He will face Cuba’s Javier Cortina in the first round, a 2014 World bronze medalist. Snyder beat Cortina in the Beat the Streets Dual in 2015, by a 4-0 margin.

If Snyder wins his first bout, he would face the winner of the match between 2011 World bronze medalists Albert Saritov of Romania and Nicolai Ceban of Moldova.

In the bottom portion of Snyder’s half-bracket are Jose Diaz Robertti of Venezuela, Mamed Ibragimov of Kazakhstan, Elizbar Odikadze of Georgia and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Georgii Ketoev of Armenia. Odikadze was fifth in the 2014 and 2015 World Championships. Continue reading at

Cox and Dlagnev qualify for bronze medal match at Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO – Americans J’den Cox and Tervel Dlagnev both won two matches in the opening session of men’s freestyle on Saturday and qualified for bronze medal matches at the Olympic Games.

Both Cox and Dlagnev suffered gutting defeats in the semifinal round to world-class competitors.

Standing opposite Cox in the 86 kg semifinals was two-time World medalist and World No. 4 Selim Yasar of Turkey. Yasar scored the only point in the first period courtesy of a shot clock violation. Cox got on the board with a step out early in the second, but trailed on criteria, 1-1. After several flurries, that is how the match would end. A lost challenge after the final whistle by the U.S. corner gave Yasar a 2-1 decision. Continue reading at

Two-time Olympian Dlagnev, along with Cox, get draws for Olympic men’s freestyle on Saturday

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The United States brought two-time Olympian Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC) at 125 kg/275 lbs. and first-time Olympian J’den Cox (Columbia. Mo./Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF) at 86 kg/189 lbs.

Dlagnev and Cox have weighed in and received their first round draws for the Olympic Games, where they will compete in Carioca 2 Arena.

Dlagnev is in the bottom half of the bracket, in the third quarter-bracket, where he will face 2015 World silver medalist and No. 2 seed Jamaladdin Magomedov of Azerbaijan. Magomedov was also a 2011 World bronze medalist.

If Dlagnev wins his first bout, he would face the winner of the match between Robert Baran of Poland and Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan. Continue reading at