OLYMPICS: Mayville native Deitchler a unique Greco-Roman wrestler
FARGO -- Wrestling has become a round-the-clock business for 18-year-old Jake Deitchler of Ramsey, Minn. The three-time Minnesota state champion has had little time for anything else as he prepares to compete on the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling tea...
FARGO -- Wrestling has become a round-the-clock business for 18-year-old Jake Deitchler of Ramsey, Minn.
The three-time Minnesota state champion has had little time for anything else as he prepares to compete on the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team at the Olympic Games next month in Beijing.
Deitchler, who will wrestle at 66 kilograms (145.5 pounds), has been training for the games in Colorado Springs, Colo., the past month after winning a series of matches over Faruk Sahin at the Olympic Team Trials on June 14 in Las Vegas.
The Olympian-to-be is one of only three high school wrestlers to ever make an Olympic wrestling roster, which was a goal of his as he began to prepare for the Trials the day after his third state title he won in early March.
"I knew what I had to do at the Trials and there wasn't a lot of pressure on me," Deitchler said. "It was a surreal feeling to know I was on the team and it was the greatest moment of my career thus far."
However, the University of Minnesota wrestling recruit isn't satisfied and hopes the best is still yet to come when the calendar turns to August.
Sights on Beijing
Deitchler will be leaving for the Olympics at the end of July, making every day precious in regards to last minute preparations.
He said that he took in the big victories at the Trials for a couple days, but has been focusing on the Olympics ever since.
"I've been doing a lot of conditioning and building up my strength," said Deitchler who has been participating in two-a-day practices. "My coaches and I have been turning it up a notch heading into the games."
Dan Chandler, a former Greco-Roman Olympic wrestler and coach, has been giving Deitchler instruction leading up to the games and said that his workout volume has been cut down, but the intensity has elevated.
"We don't want to change much with Jake, but there are some perceived weaknesses we've been working on," Chandler said. "We've just been doing a lot of short work outs leading into Beijing."
All the training has motivated Deitchler to aim high with his ambitions.
"I want to do my best and my goal is the gold," Deitchler said. "I'm just going to focus on winning and scoring points while I'm wrestling there."
While most other 18-year-olds are savoring the last days of summer before college, Deitchler's schedule has been jammed with blocks set aside for training.
Nevertheless, Deitchler has managed to squeeze in some time to travel and visit family and friends before he gets set to leave.
Deitchler, who was born in Mayville, N.D., while his father, Jason, wrestled for at Mayville State, was in Fargo along with his family on Tuesday to attend the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior national Championships.
He also found time for a 45-minute workout at NDSU before going to Buffalo Wild Wings where fans of all ages could get photos and "Kid Dynamite" Jake Deitchler Olympic T-shirts autographed.
"It's cool to know I'm from here," Deitchler said. "Before all the world and Olympic team wrestling, the Fargo national championships was always my biggest tournament of the year.
"Looking back, it was huge for my development as a wrestler."
Taking it all in
Joining Deitchler at the Olympics will be a party of 13 of his biggest fans, including his parents, sisters, grandparents and other family and friends.
"We're all really excited about going to see Jake wrestle," Jason Deitchler said.
Deitchler is still riding the wake of a successful showing at the Trials and said he has enjoyed getting to know his teammates at different Team USA wrestling events.
The fact that he is the youngest on the team has come with a little ribbing, but also a lot of praise.
"The guys on the team have all been great and respect me," Deitchler said. "We are all trying to accomplish the same thing."
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