RobotWorx had the privilege of sponsoring heavyweight wrestling champion Tommy Rowlands as he prepared for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Rowlands met with many successes throughout his Olympic training. He became U.S. Nationals, U.S. World Team Trials, and Pan American Championships champion.
President, Keith Wanner and son, Eric, were among the 100+ supporters who went to Las Vegas on June 13-15 to see Rowlands wrestle in the final U.S. Olympic Trials. They were there when Rowlands' Olympic dreams slipped from his grasp after three close matches against long-time rival Steve Mocco.
"Each match was really close," Eric Wanner said. "Five out of six periods wrestled throughout the three matches went to a clinch and had to have a coin toss to see who would get the better position. Unfortunately, Tommy only won the coin toss one time out of the five. Tommy lost the first match, won the second, and lost the third."
"It was really hard to see Tommy lose. I know how much time he invested for that day and how much it meant to him. To see it all come to an end the way it did really broke my heart. Knowing Tommy as one of my assistant wrestling coaches at OSU, and as a friend only added to the sympathy I felt toward him."
As Rowlands returns to his post at OSU, Eric Wanner is confident that Rowlands' personal strength will allow him to persevere. "No matter what Tommy decides to do in the future, he will be very successful. He is a great guy, well spoken, and he puts his heart into everything that he does."
"Tommy is an inspiration to all of us," Keith Wanner said. "I'm proud just to know him. Tommy has always loved the sport of wrestling, but at the same time he has always understood what's important in life - his family, wife, and daughter. Tommy has a great future ahead of him and we wish him all the best."
U.S. Nationals Champion Tommy Rowlands
Born: June 3, 1981
High School: Columbus, Ohio
Fifth in 2007 World Championships
2007 World Team Trials champion
2007 and 2008 U.S. Nationals champion
2005 World University Games gold medalist
2008 Pan American Championships champion
2005 U.S. Nationals runner-up
Second in 2002 U.S. World Team Trials
Third in 2006 U.S. Nationals
Third in 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
Second in 2000 Junior World Championships
1999 Junior National champion in both freestyle and Greco-Roman
2002 and 2004 NCAA Champion at Ohio State, and three-time All-American
Currently an assistant coach at The Ohio State University
Two-time Ohio state high school champion