Robby Smith, a Colorado Springs wrestler, is heading to the Rio Olympics to compete for his country as part of Team USA.
The 286-pound wrestler has a unique personality and style that electrifies crowds. He loves to dance and has dreamed of being an Olympian since he was a young boy.
“It’s a dream come true,” Smith told the Denver Post. “I’ve been dreaming about being an Olympian since I was around 9 years old. I’ve always loved wrestling. It’s been a passion of mine since I was 4½. The dream’s not over yet, of course. I want to get that gold medal.”
Pinkelman Makes Men’s Rugby Team
Colorado-native Ben Pinkelman, a graduate of Colorado State University, has been selected to be part of the U.S. Olympics men’s rugby team.
At 22, Pinkelman is the youngest member of the American team. This is the first time Rugby will be featured at the Olympics since 1924.
Phinney Overcomes Injuries
Boulder cyclist Taylor Phinney suffered a terrible crash in 2014 during the USA road racing championships in Chattanooga. At the time, he thought his career might be over. It was six months before he could even start riding again.
After 2 years of intensive rehab and training, Phinney has come roaring back. He’ll be heading to Rio in August to represent his country as an Olympian for a second time.
“I still have some muscle to build back up, but I can ride my bike well enough to go to the Olympics,” Phinney said. “The biggest accomplishment you can have as an athlete is being an Olympic medalist, or even higher, an Olympic gold medalist. I’m excited to go, training is going really well and I’m feeling good about it.”
Jenny Simpson Makes Third Olympic Run
Former Colorado Buffalo Jenny Simpson is making yet another trip to the Olympics as part of Team USA. She previously raced in 2008 and 2012.
“Everybody talks about how making the team is a relief,” Simpson told the media after her qualifying. “But the hardest thing is you are the one who has to prove it to you. You’re the one who is standing at the starting line, and you’re the one who has to believe ‘I’m 1,500 meters away from another team.’ I’m just so grateful I proved to myself that I could do it.”