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In That Moment



Slow Motion version With the man third in line to the presidency, the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, looking on the legislative branch of the federal government was represented (light blue polo behind the "K" in the word Bank) at the Olympic Trials in Dallas. By the end of the summer it was clear that the judicial branch should've been there as well. Before America would know who the Greco Olympian at 167 pounds would be, the wrestling community spent countless hours analyzing, discussing, and debating the scramble between Matt Lindland and Keith Sieracki. Probably no 10-second scramble in wrestling has generated more controversy and media attention for wrestling than the gut wrench and reversal contained in the accompanying images. Was it a leg-block? Was it a lift? Was it a reversal with back exposure? Was it officials' judgment? Was it a misapplication of the rules? The questions were numerous; the discussion endless. The plot had more twists and turns than a Friday afternoon soap opera. In the end, in a case that was reviewed by Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court, Matt Lindland gained the right to represent America in the Olympics. That 10-second scramble originally made Keith Sieracki the U.S. Olympian. But, through the process of arbitration and appeals set up to govern due process for amateur athletes. Lindland eventually garnered a rematch, which he won 8-0, which was then appealed. And, eventually the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that USOC had to submit Lindland as America's Olympian. When Lindland finally wrestled back his Olympic dream from Keith Sieracki of the U.S. army it was a dramatic change of events that had taken the better part of the summer. Now the Olympics have opened and the Greco-Roman competition will soon begin. Lindland is a veteran of international Olympics, who just last fall suffered through a bad draw of the new pairing system. In his pool was the gold and bronze medalist from the year before. Lindland defeated the gold medalist but lost to the bronze medalist, who went on to win the world title. In that competition Lindland suffered a tendon tear in his forearm that required surgery which slowed his progress. To qualify the weight class at 167 pounds, Lindland was called on to represent America in the Pan Am games, only a gold medal would qualify the weight. Anything short of that would leave America out of the Olympic picture at that weight. Lindland scored a 1-0 victory to win the gold over the Cuban, a former Olympic champ. The process that Lindland went through to become an Olympian was different from the other seven men who represent America on Greco-Roman Olympic team. In a few short days he will be wrestling in pursuit of Olympic gold, along the way the appeals, arbitration, rematch, and federal appeals process had to be draining, but Lindland says that he stayed focused on wrestling in Sydney. With the garnering of the Olympic spot at the last minute plans were hastily put together by his family. Matt's father, wife-Angie, and children James (8) and Robin (6) will be there to watch him wrestle. In that moment, a 10-second scramble, the controversy was thick in a process that seemingly pleased no one. Eventually Matt Lindland emerged as the Olympian and now he has his chance to wrestle for Olympic glory.
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