In addition to winning the 125-pound title at the 2011 NCAAs, Arizona State wrestler Anthony Robles also claimed numerous other awards, considerable media attention, and the hearts of millions around the world.
Robles, born without a right leg, defeated defending champ Matt McDonough of the University of Iowa, 7-1, in the 125 finals at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia in March… closing out his collegiate mat career with a perfect 36-0 senior season and an impressive 122-23 overall record. The three-time NCAA All-American was also named Outstanding Wrestler at the 2011 NCAAs.
In the two weeks immediately after the NCAAs, Robles’ story was featured on ABC World News Sunday, CBS Early Show and Fox & Friends. Articles about him have appeared in publications as diverse as Sports Illustrated, People and The Wall Street Journal… not to mention just about every local newspaper in the nation.
In addition to media attention, the 23-year-old Robles has been keeping busy in a number of ways in 2011, including:
- Two ESPY Awards: In July, Robles was presented with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance… as well as the ESPY for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
- Tonight Show appearance: A week after the ESPYs, the former Sun Devil was a featured guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
- Tommies Award: Robles was named “Best Technical Wrestler” of the 2010-11 season as part of TheOpenMat.com (TOM) 2011 Tommies Awards for collegiate wrestlers.
- Volunteer coach: In late August, Robles returned to Arizona State to serve as a volunteer assistant coach.
- Featured speaker at the “Night of Champions” fundraiser for Cal State Bakersfield wrestling last month, helping to raise over $150,000 for Roadrunner wrestling.
Nine months after making headlines in Philadephia, Robles continues to make news. Just this week, Robles’ championship was the top vote-getter by ESPN’s SportsCenter viewers as the “Best of the Best” in 2011… and was profiled in another positive feature story in The Wall Street Journal.
What’s next? Robles is now a motivational speaker, sharing his inspirational story with corporate leaders, school kids… even professional athletes like the NFL Oakland Raiders… and is working with writer Austin Murphy on a book titled Unstoppable, to be released in 2012. What’s more, in June 2012, Robles will be presented with the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges.
Want to know more? Visit Anthony Robles’ official website… and see links to nearly three years of College Wrestling Examiner stories on the inspiring mat champ by clicking on the Anthony Robles link.
College Wrestling Examiner’s Top Ten Stories of 2011
For the last week of the year, the College Wrestling Examiner will take a look back at some of the top news stories (and news trends) involving college wrestlers, and/or affecting collegiate wrestling, that we’ve covered in 2011. For links to the entire list of Top Ten Stories of 2011, click here.
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