Five US Olympic gold medal-winning wrestlers will conduct a three-day training camp at the Rally 4 Wrestling Atlanta event Labor Day weekend, USA Wrestling announced Monday, Aug. 19.
Bruce Baumgartner, Tom Brands, Dan Gable, John Smith and Brandon Slay – all gold medalists – will be among the clinicians at the camp Aug. 31-Sept. 2, to be held at The Cooler in Alpharetta, Ga. in suburban Atlanta.
The instructional camp is part of the Rally 4 Wrestling event which is a celebration of the sport, a promotion to help save Olympic wrestling, and a send-off for the U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team which will be competing at the 2013 Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 16-22.
On the first day of the three-day camp – Sat., Aug. 31 – Brandon Slay, 2000 Olympic gold medalist and NCAA finalist for University of Pennsylvania, along with Lee Kemp, three-time NCAA champ for Wisconsin and three-time World champ, will be the featured instructors. Slay and Kemp will be joined by Olympic bronze medalist Nate Carr, Olympian Sanshiro Abe, and Bubba Jenkins, Junior World Champion, 2011 NCAA champ for Arizona State, and rising mixed martial arts star.
On Day Two – Sun., Sept. 1 -- campers will learn from the most decorated heavyweight wrestler in history, Bruce Baumgartner, who won two Olympic gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Baumgartner – 1982 NCAA heavyweight champ, now Edinboro University athletic director – will be joined by Tom Brands (1996 Olympic gold medalist, now Iowa Hawkeye head coach), Olympian John Azevedo, and two-time NCAA champion Wade Schalles as instructors.
The final day of the camp – Labor Day, Mon., Sept. 2 -- features gold medal winners Dan Gable and John Smith, along with Baumgartner. Smith is a two-time Olympic and four-time World Champion and Gable is an Olympic and World Champion and legendary coach at Iowa. USA World Team Coach and World Champion Zeke Jones is also scheduled as a clinician.
More than instruction
In addition to a wrestling instructional camp featuring legendary wrestlers and coaches, The Rally 4 Wrestling Atlanta event features a number of other aspects for wrestling fans and supporters. On Saturday, there will be a live broadcast of Scott Casber’s weekly Takedown Wrestling show (10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Eastern), along with a “All Division Duals” from 3-7 p.m. On Sunday, there will be a Champions Social, beginning with a red carpet media event at 5 p.m., followed by a banquet and recognition awards presentation. In addition, throughout the duration of the event, there will be a R4W Expo, featuring memorabilia displays, autograph signings, and demonstrations.
Timing for he Rally 4 Wrestling could not be better, just one week before the International Olympic Committee will determine which of three sports – wrestling, squash, or a combined baseball/softball bid – will be featured at the 2020 and 2024 Olympics at a vote of all members in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sept. 8.
All Rally 4 Wrestling events – including the wrestling training camp – will take place at The Cooler, 10800 Davis Drive in Alpharetta, Ga. To register for the camp, or for more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the event website.
To learn more about the IOC/Olympic wrestling saga -- including coverage of wrestling at the 2012 London Olympics, click here for instant access to College Wrestling Examiner's full roster of stories on the subject.
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