The U.S. did not field a Greco-Roman wrestling team in the Olympics until 1952. We were the “new kids on the block”, and it wasn’t easy, toiling over 30 years before earning our first Olympic medal. But then it happened…in a BIG WAY. Steve Fraser and Jeff Blatnick electrified Los Angeles in 1984 and made history by becoming the first U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers to win Olympic gold. And the U.S. Greco program has been making noise ever since.
In 2000, USA struck gold once more, accomplishing the impossible. Rulon Gardner shocked the world, defeating 3X Olympic Champion Alexander Karelin, considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time. Gardner not only drove a proverbial stake through the heart of the “Russian Bear”, but also into the ground, staking claim to a universal respect that had been a long time coming for the USA in Greco-Roman wrestling... and the best was yet to come. In 2007 the U.S. Greco team, after more than a half century of pursuing the ultimate goal for our country, reached the top of the podium, winning the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In total, the U.S. Greco-Roman team has claimed 26 Olympic & World medals since 1995, including Andy Bisek’s bronze medal performance at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and his repeat performance at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, NV. With new coach Matt Lindland (world and Olympic medalist) at the helm and a growing pool of talented young Greco competitors, USA Wrestling is poised to pursue its goal of becoming the premier Greco-Roman program in the world… and we won’t stop until we’re there. That’s the American way.