News & Updates

News & Updates

Zain Retherford Secures Olympic Spot for Team USA at 65kg

Published May 18th, 2024 by NLWC Admin

The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club (NLWC) proudly announces that Zain Retherford has qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris at the 65 kg weight class. Retherford's remarkable journey to the Olympics was cemented after a stellar performance at the Last Chance Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul, where he secured a crucial victory over Niurgun Skriabin of Belarus in his final match.

This accomplishment adds Retherford to the elite list of Penn State representatives at the upcoming Olympics, joining fellow Nittany Lion Aaron Brooks. Brooks earned his Olympic spot by defeating former Penn State wrestler David Taylor at the Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling held in the Bryce Jordan Center this past April.

Retherford's path to the Olympics has been a testament to his perseverance and skill. After triumphing in his weight class at the team trials, Retherford faced the daunting task of qualifying the weight category for the country. His journey in Istanbul began with strong victories in his first two bouts. However, a setback came in his third match, where he fell to Tulga Tumur-Ochir of Mongolia. Despite this, Retherford's Olympic dreams were reignited when Tumur-Ochir advanced to the finals, allowing Retherford to enter the repechage bracket.

In the repechage, Retherford showcased his resilience and determination. He embarked on a winning streak, defeating four consecutive opponents, culminating in his decisive victory over Skriabin. This win not only secured the 65 kg weight class for Team USA but also earned Retherford his well-deserved spot in Paris.

Retherford's qualification marks a significant achievement for Penn State wrestling, which will now have two representatives competing on the global stage at the 2024 Olympics. His success also highlights the strength and depth of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, which continues to produce world-class athletes capable of competing at the highest levels.

In Istanbul, Retherford was accompanied by another notable American wrestler, Spencer Lee, a former Iowa Hawkeye. Lee also secured his Olympic berth with a victory in the semifinals over Rakhat Kalzhan of Kazakhstan. Both Retherford and Lee have established themselves as key members of Team USA's freestyle wrestling squad, bringing their exceptional talents to the Olympic mat.

As the excitement builds for the upcoming Olympics, Retherford and Lee will continue their rigorous training and preparation. The men’s freestyle wrestling competition at the Olympics is set to begin on August 8, where Retherford will compete for Olympic glory and aim to bring home a medal for Team USA.

The entire Nittany Lion Wrestling Club community extends its heartfelt congratulations to Zain Retherford on his incredible achievement. His journey from collegiate wrestling standout to Olympian is an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers everywhere. The NLWC is immensely proud to have such a dedicated and talented athlete representing both the club and the country on the world stage.

Stay tuned for more updates on Retherford's road to the Olympics and other exciting news from the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.

‹ Back

Shopping Cart


Your cart is empty.