It has the names of State Champions, All Americans, and even an Olympian. It was a list that junior Hayden Tuma was hoping to joins but those dreams may now be dashed by the International Olympic Committee. A group of 15 executives voted to no longer have wrestling as a sport starting in the Summer of 2020.
"I was pretty upset because there are kids like me that have been training their whole lives just to go to the Olympics," said Tuma. Just hearing that feels like your dreams are just being crushed right underneath you."
Not only is Tuma ranked #1 for Greco-Roman, but is also #2 in the US for his weight class in freestyle wrestling (which is the style in high school and college). Many people including the school activities director believe Tuma could make it all the way.
"He's got the gift to wrestle and the drive to make it happen," said AD Jon Watson. "So I could see Hayden in 2020 I could see him in 2016 if everything went right."
Even worse for Hayden is that he already had a taste of competing on the Internationale stage. He competed in Azerbaijan (Central Asia) for the Junior World Championships. In many parts of Asia and Europe wrestling is as popular as the football is here in the US.
"It's amazing there are so many crazy fans," said Tuma "It's like being at a football game with wrestling mats on the top of the field. It was so exciting to wrestle in and watch."
Tuma may still have a chance to wrestle during the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, but it's rare for his sport. Unlike swimming and gymnastics where athletes hit their prime in their teens and early 20's. Wrestlers usually hit the top of their game from ages 26-29. Hayden would just be hitting his 20's by then. That's why dropping wrestling in 2020 hurts him the most.