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MARQUETTE, MI – It’s not everyday you get to tour an Olympic Training facility.
For some student athletes, the attraction of earning a degree and the potential of becoming an Olympic athlete is what draws them to NMU.
“We are the oldest Olympic Training site; we’ve had a relationship with the Olympic Committee since 1985, so that plays a part into it,” said Mike Kaurala, Operations Manager of the Olympic Training Site at NMU. “We’ve had so many Greco-Roman wrestlers on the team that that is a big draw for wrestlers to want to come here and try to repeat what others have done in the past.”
NMU is one of 15 Olympic training sites in the U.S. but perhaps what makes it so noteworthy is the fact that it’s the only Greco-Roman training site that offers student athletes to go to college full-time and earn their degree.
“We have 45 guys training in our room for the same calls and common goal,” says Rob Hermann, Head Coach of Greco-Roman Wrestling at NMU. “When you get 45 Greco-Roman athletes in the same room, you get better and if their goal is to make an Olympic team, a World team or at least get up to that level, then this is the place to do it.”
Juniors and seniors train year-round for the World Team Trials in Las Vegas. Since the program’s inception, more wrestlers have grown and developed at Northern throughout the years.
“Being an Olympic coach in ’96, that is the ultimate of this sport,” said Hermann. “But being in this room, watching these guys grow and develop is also rewarding and it’ll be with me for the rest of my life.”
The team will travel to Las Vegas April 25 for a chance to make the USA World Team, representing Team USA at the World Championships.