By Chad Otterness
Tuomo Karilla was a foreign exchange student in 1985-86, attending Canby High School via Finland. One of the best “recruits” to ever come to Minnesota. After high school, he went on to become a two-time Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler.
Karila’s host brother, Anthony Birk, shared some recollections from that time:
Tuomo was an experienced wrestler when he came to Canby as an exchange student in 1985 at the age of 17. The previous year he had taken the Bronze Medal wrestling Greco-Roman in the Finnish National Championships and also wrestled Freestyle. However, he had never wrestled folkstyle.
Our family had a wrestling mat in the basement, and from the time he arrived until the start of the wrestling season, Tuomo practiced and studied the rules of folkstyle wrestling. By the time the season started, he had begun to adapt quite well but still used a lot of Greco-Roman techniques.