Against All OddsMarch 22nd
If you haven’t heard about the new NCAA Wrestling Champion Anthony Robles, don’t feel bad. Many have not. After all, he’s not an NCAA basketball superstar or college football Heisman Trophy winner. However, maybe you should still consider his achievement. Over the weekend, Arizona State’s Anthony Robles won the 125-pound division of the NCAA Wrestling Championship…with only one leg.
Born without his right leg, Robles defeated Iowa’s Matt McDonough in the title match. Robles came in seventh last year and fourth two years prior. Dedicated and adamant on improving this year, amazingly, Robles went undefeated on the season finishing 36-0 and after his championship win, 17,099 people in attendance gave Robles a standing ovation.
What Anthony Robles has achieved is obviously a tremendous accolade in itself, however two things come to mind that make Robles an even bigger hero: one is the apparent disability Robles had to mentally and physically overcome, but the other is the fact that Robles represents the black athlete in a sports world that is so engulfed in NCAA, NBA and NFL superstars.
Robles showcases strength, dominance and grace and the ability to overcoming overwhelming obstacles. Robles delivers inspiration for the young athlete working hard to make a mark.
Additionally, Robles portrays opportunity resulting from confidence, superior work ethic and persistence. There are no limitations to success, only you can defeat yourself. To go undefeated for the entire season is remarkable, and to do it in athletics with a disability such as Robles against “unfair” competition is all the more powerful.
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