I am a classic red-blooded midwest bred Army veteran who believes in capitalism, steak, good women, and competition. All these things produce results.
Competition revealed itself in the form of Kyle Snyder at 97 kg last year when at the US World Team Trials a not-prepared Jake Varner was swept off the platform two matches to none. Let's not sugar-coat it, Varner didn't look ready to wrestle and wasn't going to take any matches from Snyder. Varner didn't look anything close to the resemblance of the guy who won a gold medal or even the horse that went to 4-straight NCAA finals (winning two).
The domestic wrestling fans, rightfully so, fell in love with Snyder as he went on to win the World Championships in Vegas at just 19 years of age. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised at how many believe without question that Snyder will be in Rio for the Olympics this summer.
97 kg has historically been a competitive weight in this country and holding down a world team spot should not be without question. Reigning Olympic champ Varner may have announced himself as back being close to his former self when he took Silver last week at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia.
Almost more encouraging to me, Varner is signed up for the Yasar Dogu in Turkey this weekend. This isn't some walk in the park tournament either. I think this shows Varner is really ready to put together strong momentum as we are barely over two months away from the Olympic Trials in Iowa.
Competition motivates people, and while the rest of the country cheered as Snyder won in Vegas, don't think it didn't bother Varner that it wasn't him. I'm looking forward to Iowa.