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Quotes from Freestyle Wrestlers



Quotes after the evening session, October 1

Terry Brands "There are two guys here who are better than me. That's not how I approached this. I'm bitter now. If you get knocked down, you come back and do your best. That's what I did in this match. That's what coach Gable told me when I was a freshman back in Iowa. I've got to get better. He's a Russian republic guy, and the wrestle a style like they do. I don't think I did my best against him. The Worlds are in New York City on American soil next year. I'm going to give it a look." (about the loss to Dabir in the semifinals) "I gave up wrist control on the left side. He controlled me. I didn't practice that enough. He was stronger than I thought he'd be there. You can't give up a four-point defecit in the Olympic semifinals." (about his comeback) "I didn't do it for redemption. I did it to be the best in the world." Lincoln McIlravy (about the bronze medal match, after losing in semis) "It was the hardest thing I had to do in my life in sport. I have never wanted to win bronze, and I still don't. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to win gold. All that changed this morning. I didn't do this for myself. I did it for my nation, my God and my family. To be frank, this match didn't mean much to me. The dream of winning a gold medal forever gone. I may wrestle again, but I won't be around four more years for another. As far as my future, it has been a four-year spring for these Olympics. I'll have to give it some time. Having my family here has helped me a lot. My coaches put in. The Olympics are for the American people, for all of those who couldn't have been here for whatever reason. I did what I could for them." Co-Head Coach Dan Gable (After McIlravy and Brands matches) "They were pretty good matches. You just can't let up for a second in a tournament like this. In any matches here, you make a mistake and you pay for it. I would never have thought that Terry would ever lose the wrist control. Those guys who worked to get a gold medal hung around their neck, to come back and settle for one that's a different color, it says something for their character." (about the team) "We lost a lot of close matches when it counted. There has to be a reason for that. We have to figure it out and turn it around. We can't just go home and forget about it." National Developmental Coach Mike Duroe (after Brands victory) "He was very competitive out there. Being the type of champion he is, he deserved to win the bronze. He made some mistakes in the semifinals, and that's why he didn't compete for the gold. He showed his character by coming back for the bronze. I am very proud of him."

Quotes after the morning session, October 1

Charles Burton (after the session) "I would have like to have earned the fifth place. In the first match, with 15 seconds left, I could have sat back and done nothing. That's not how I wrestle. I got pulled up on the single leg. It happened so fast. I felt I was controlling him. One mistake and it's all over." Kerry McCoy (after the session) "I went out and wrestled my best. I tried to force a few situations. There was a scramble situation where he was lying flat on his back and they gave him two and me zero. Giving up the three point throw at the end of the period really hurt me. He is a tough competitor. He did what he needed to do to win. Being down by five points in the quarterfinals of the Olympics is hard to come back. I've only given up two or three points all season. Giving up all those points is not what I need to do to win at the Olympics. This is the first loss I have gotten all year. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I did everything I could to be Olympic champion. Everyone has adversity. There are lows and highs. You deal with it and you try to learn from it." National Freestyle Coach Bruce Burnett (after the session) "I'm disappointed in the fact we don't have four guys in the finals. We had our chance to wrestle. We made technical mistakes and it cost us. We came to wrestle, no doubt about it." Co-Head Coach John Smith (after Burton's loss to Ibragimov) "Late in the match, he needed to stay away from his waist. That's where he got in the footsweep to his back. We were in control with 20 seconds to go. He made a mistake. Co-Head Coach Dan Gable (after Burton's loss to Ibragimov) "I told her to stay away from the upper body. He waited until 10 seconds left and he went upperbody. He had that match." (after Brands' loss to Dabir) "His left hand wasted too much time. Dabier was controlling the match. It also set up his single leg. There was no problem with Terry's heart or effort. Technically, at the beginning of the match, the opponent was able to hit his single. We need to be even early in the match. We needed to score earlier in the bout." Co-Head Coach Greg Strobel (after McCoy's loss) "During a situation in the first period, I thought Kerry turned him and nearly pinned him and received no points. That set the tone of the match. He lost his focus. I think he scored more points. We will protest this match." (after McIlravy's loss) "It's amazing how fast these things go. Igali is a tremendous athlete. In this game, a slight mistake can cost you a lot. Igali is tough. McIlravy is well trained and was ready; he just made a mistake. The mistake is that he got his hands up. Igali was able to get under him."

Quotes After The Evening Session, Sept. 30

Brandon Slay (in the mixed zone) "They didn't let us wrestle." (in his press conference) "Going into that match, I knew I could win it. If I wrestled to my full potential I could be Olympic Champion. I thought I got the escape in the first period. But sometimes you don't get the calls, so you roll with it and go on." (about the clinch postion, where he lost two points) "I lowered my level. He had the opportunity to get his hands locked. We got where our hands were locked. The next thing I now, they gave him two points. I'm still rolling with the punches, believing I could win." (about the other caution and one-point penalty) "He locked up a gutwrench, and I was trying to break the lock. He was whining and crying that I was hurting his fingers. They gave him another point. I still thought I could win, but there was just a minute left. He could just stand there and defend." (about the calls) "I'm not sure about the calls, either. That was in their hands. I gave it my all. I didn't hold anything back." (about the medal) "I'll cherish the medal. I've trained my whole life for this. I've dreamed of being an Olympic champions since I was eight years old. I'm disappointed, but there is still a lot of value from this medal." (on the ceremonies) "It was very difficult. I envisioned the medal ceremony being one of the happiest moments of my lif. I tried to get a smile on my face, but I couldn't. If they had called it fairly, and I lost fairly, I would have had a smile. He would have beaten me on the mat, and I would have walked off knowing I gave it my best shot. I can't say I felt that way." Co-Head Coach John Smith (after Henson's loss) "The U.S. was on a good roll. It was obvious we might not get all the calls. We thought early in the first period, they gave Sammie five seconds on top with no chance for the turn. That may have gotten into Sammie's mind. Four times the guy grabbed the singlet. It was obvious at least two or three times the athlete intentionally grabbed the singlet. That should have been called a one point penalty, at least once. Those were important situations wehre we needed that point. The man on the mat has to put up the caution and point." (when Henson received a point for a caution against Abdullayev) "He had his fingers in Sammie's mouth. We couldn't see it, but Sammie was pointing it out. It was a fish hook. The referee did finally see it and gave Sammie the point." (what Henson was so upset) "This was a gold medal match. These guys train a lifetime for this. He has been working long, hard hours for this, for at leas
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