I'm a homer by nature. I'm not sure why this is particularly but after years of being a competitor, coach, and fan I always have the rose colored glasses on. One thing that excites me heading to the 2016 Olympiad is star power. USA Wrestling has it in bunches right now, and I'm growing optimistic it won't be noticed by just the Wrestling world.
Dreaming of Wrestling being talked about by Bob Costas, hopefully sans pink eye, during the NBC prime time broadcasts seems dubious. Yet compared to other Olympic sports, who has better stars right now than USA Wrestling. We have the best current competitor on the planet in Jordan Burroughs who has no shortage of charisma off the mat. He's already being featured in promotions including the Ralph Lauren outfit roll out.
Kyle Snyder is not legally allowed to order a celebratory champagne toast yet, but is the defending World & NCAA Champion on his way to hopefully claim a gold medal. Adeline Gray & Helen Maroulis are beautiful, well-spoken goddesses of the mat and great role models for girls everywhere. Four returning World Champions that if you can't market, you are in the wrong business.
Other stars are J'Den Cox, the 21-year old who is a medal threat that sings national anthems and sang while playing the guitar at the Beat the Streets Gala. Daniel Dennis moved out of his truck to come back to Iowa. Robby Smith & Andy Bisek are rare greco threats with looks and personality to go with it.
If you're NBC trying to fill the hours each day, I don't know how USA Wrestling's squad isn't sent from above.
Burroughs and others were on display as USA won 7 of their 9 matches to defend some of the oldest real estate in America on Thursday evening in Times Square. Burroughs, the consummate showman, worked hard for not just a victory but a tech-fall over the defending Asian Champion from Iran. If you take away one thing from the star studded night, it's that Wrestling is leading the way to Rio with more star power than anyone.
Beat the Streets “United In The Square,”
At Times Square, New York City, May 19
Greco-Roman 75 kg/165 lbs. – Kim Hyeon-Woo (Korea) dec. Andy Bisek (USA), 3-0
Women’s 53 kg/116.5 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) pin Samantha Stewart (Canada), 2:41
Women’s 75 kg/165 lbs.– Adeline Gray (USA) tech. fall Justina Di Stasio (Canada), 11-0
Junior men’s freestyle 55 kg/121 lbs. – Daton Fix (USA) tech. fall Kheyrollah Ghahramani (Iran), 14-3
Junior men’s freestyle 60 kg/132 lbs. – Mitchell McKee (USA) dec. Peiman Biabani (Iran), 8-8
Junior men’s freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Mark Hall (USA) dec. Ahmad Bazrighaleh (Iran), 8-5
Junior men’s freestyle 84 kg/185 lbs. – Mojtaba Goleij (Iran) dec. Zahid Valencia (USA), 10-1
Men’s freestyle 86 kg/189 lbs. – J’Den Cox (USA) dec. Meisam Mostafa Joukar (Iran), 10-5
Men’s freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Pehman Yarahmadi (Iran), 11-2