Industrial Robots Help Local Athlete Achieve Gold
Athletic sponsorships are a rarity in the robotics field, but for RobotWorx president Keith Wanner, the connection between robots and wrestling is simple. Beyond earning Wanner's respect, top-ranking wrestler Rowlands was a coach for Wanner's youngest son, Eric, at The Ohio State University. "Rowlands has always been a very positive influence for Eric and hundreds of other wrestlers in central Ohio," Wanner said. "If this helps Tommy and his family and gives him the recognition he deserves, it will be worth it."
For Rowlands, RobotWorx' support came as a welcome surprise. "I have never had a local company step up and support me in the way RobotWorx has. It is people like Mr. Wanner that enable me to have a singular focus on my dream of being an Olympic champion. I can't thank RobotWorx enough, as their support will greatly improve my training environment," Rowlands said.
Rowlands is currently the highest ranking American wrestler in the 264.5-pound class. He won at the 2007 US World Team Trails and will be the US representative in the World Championships on September 21 in Baku, Azeibaijan. Training is going very well; Rowlands is optimistic about Beijing. "I have one year left to achieve my dream, and I think it is well within my reach."
Rowlands quest for Olympic gold is not without challengers. "Right now the Uzbek, Russian, Cuban, and Iranian are my main competition on the world level," he said. "I have several rivals domestically, and am working constantly to separate myself from the rest of the pack. I rely on my quickness and work ethic to take me to where I need to be."
Wanner, an avid wrestling fan and fellow OSU grad, respects Rowlands' skill and professionalism. In addition to his Olympic training, Rowlands continues to work as an assistant wrestling coach at OSU. Wanner hopes RobotWorx' sponsorship will generate more interest in the sport. "Wrestling is one of the toughest sports out there, but it's unappreciated, unlike football or basketball, which have tons of sponsors." Wanner said. "Tommy is the top wrestler in the country and deserves the recognition and respect."
"I can only hope to give back in the way that RobotWorx has done for me. I will never forget Mr. Wanner's graciousness," Rowlands said.
RobotWorx has integrated and refurbished new and used robotic equipment for 15 years. Its staff of 35 includes certified robot technicians and engineers. RobotWorx refurbishes and builds robotic systems in its 100,000 square foot facility and maintains a strong online sales presence.
To become a Rowlands sponsor, write to RowlandsT@buckeyes.ohio-state.edu.