The Burgs Summer Olympics series: Wrestling
The 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off Saturday in London.
Thousands of athletes from across the world will test their skills in sports such as diving, wrestling, track and field,
volleyball and even badminton.
We turned to local athletes who specialize in these sports, asking them for tips and what to look for during the epic event.
DESCRIPTION: Wrestling is a body-to-body combat sport. Greco-Roman wrestlers use only their upper bodies and arms. Freestyle wrestlers can use any part of their body to pin or throw their opponent to the ground. The aim is to force the back of the opponent’s shoulders on to the ground. Bouts take place on a mat and can last for a maximum of three periods of two minutes, with a 30-second break in between periods.
HISTORY: Eight years after Greco-Roman erestling was featured at the first modern Olympic games in 1896, freestyle wrestling was introduced at the St. Louis 1904 Games. Women’s wrestling joined the Olympic program at Athens in 2004.
COMPETITION DATES: Aug. 5-12
LOCAL ATHLETE: Zach Epperly, 18, Christiansburg
EXPERIENCE: Epperly has 15 years of wrestling experience. He is the 2012 Timesland Wrestler of the Year
Q: What do you like about wrestling?
A: It’s just being out there working so hard for everything and at the end of the match, getting your hand raised. It’s all about pride. You get a lot respect here, in this area and around the world.
Q: What advice would you give the Olympic wrestlers?
A: Don’t let the fear get to them, being out there with the whole entire world watching. [To focus] I like to go listen to music and stuff, get myself pumped up. Tell myself to do the best I can out there and dominate. [They should] find what works for them best to get them in that state of mind where they can go out there and perform the best they can.”
Q: What should the average viewer be looking for while watching the sport on television?
A: Most the people [wrestlers], they have to get in good position where they can be able to score from any position. If you get a high arch throw you can get a lot of points for it. There are three periods and you have to win two out three to win [the match]. You can win the period if you go up by six points, but any big throw will end the period right there.
If their shoulders touch a second or less, it’s automatically a pin. They call it a touch pin. The pin ends the whole match.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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