Jared Frayer, a former University of Oklahoma wrestler, now assistant coach, hopes to strike gold at the 2012 Olympics in men’s freestyle competition at 66 kg/145.5 pounds Aug. 12.
Frayer is one of two Sooner mat alums to earn a spot on Team USA, joining 55 kg/121 pounder Sam Hazewinkel, who, like Frayer, is a Florida native.
At age 33, Frayer is the eldest member of the U.S. freestyle squad, though he is four years younger than Dremiel Byers, the U.S. heavyweight in Greco-Roman.
A “Real” fun fact: Frayer is the only member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic wrestling team to have participated in Real Pro Wrestling, a paid version of amateur wrestling, in 2005.
High school/college experience: Frayer was a three-time Florida state champ at Countryside High School, where he was coached by his father David Frayer. He continued his education and mat career at Oklahoma, where he was a two-time NCAA All-American. After a coaching stint at University of Wisconsin, Frayer returned to the Sooners as an assistant coach in 2011.
How Frayer made the U.S. Olympic team: Jared Frayer defeated University of Iowa mat champ Brent Metcalf in two matches on Metcalf’s home turf, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, site of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. In the first match, Frayer topped Metcalf, 5-1, 0-4, 6-0; in the second, Frayer won 2-1, 0-1, 2-2. Affiliated with the Gator Wrestling Club, Frayer has been a member of Team USA for five years.
Top contenders: Mike Finn, editor of W.I.N. (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine), previewed the 66 kg class, and declared the top competitors to be Iran’s Mehdi Taghavi (two-time World champ), Sushil Kumar of India (his third Olympics; won bronze at 2008 Games), Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan (two-time World medalist), and Azerbaijan’s Yabrail Hasnov (two-time World bronze medalist).
Sports Illustrated’s medal predictions: Gold medal: Mehdi Taghavi (Iran); Silver: Sushil Kumar (India); Bronze: Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan) and Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine).
BleacherReport.com’s Levi Nile medal predictions: Gold medal: Medhi Taghavi (Iran); Silver: Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan).
Get to know the U.S. Olympic wrestlers: USA Wrestling has produced an online guide for the 2012 Olympics, featuring bios, info and videos of Team USA wrestlers, and their coaches. Also check out College Wrestling Examiner’s weight-by-weight previews.
Follow the action at home: Live streaming coverage of wrestling will be available online at NBCOlympics.com as well as on various NBC TV networks. For a more detailed schedule (including handy chart to help you convert London time to yours), check out the schedule page at TheMat.com.
Want to know more? Check out the schedule for wrestling at the 2012 Olympics. TheMat.com has a special Olympics page with wrestler bios, profiles, news stories. InterMat also has an Olympics page, with brackets, photos and news and notes. For basic facts about Olympic wrestling, take a look at the “How To Watch Wrestling” primer at the NBC Chicago website, and NBCOlympics for specifics on the rules.
Want to meet past U.S. Olympic gold medalists of the mat? Check out the series of articles in College Wrestling 101 for brief bios on the 47 U.S. wrestlers who brought home gold between 1908 and 2008. To learn even more, you’ll want to read the brand-new book The Gold Standard, featured in a College Wrestling Examiner article from April 2012.
The Olympics are here… and there’s plenty of other news, too! Keep up with all this summer’s developments in wrestling, including the 2012 London Olympics, awards, coach hirings, firings and retirings, new programs and other developments year round… by clicking the “sign up” button at the top of the page — or click on the Twitter link below — to make sure you don’t miss a single article from College Wrestling Examiner, winner of Amateur Wrestling News’ Dellinger Award as wrestling writer of 2011. It’s absolutely FREE!
College Wrestling 101: Links to College Wrestling Examiner articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, past U.S. Olympic gold medalists, more
Follow College Wrestling Examiner Mark Palmer on Twitter