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Saturday, July 24, 2021

G’Angelo Hancock’s meteoric rise to stardom in Greco-Roman wrestling makes Fountain a gold medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics

G’Angelo Hancock is proof that no dream is too big, even the ones you have a hard time believing in yourself.

Hancock, a Fountain native, went from being expelled from high school to channeling his energy and athleticism into a meteoric rise to stardom in Greco-Roman wrestling. He is a gold medal contender in the 97 kg (214 lb) weight category at the Tokyo Olympics starting Friday.

“I wrestled all the top guys – the Armenian (Artur Aleksanian), who is a multiple-time world champion and current Olympic champion – and I beat these guys,” Hancock said. “I’ve wrestled all the medalists from Rio (in 2016), so I’m very confident. I’ve been wrestling and winning these top guys for four, five, six years now.

“I believe I’m the person who should be at the top of the podium, so I’m going to bring that type of energy.”

Hancock’s confidence on the international stage began to rise in 2018 when he won the Pietlasinski Memorial in Poland, Pinning Aleksanya in 28 seconds On her way to a semifinal victory, it cemented her status as a real international star and raised Tokyo’s hopes for a wrestler who finished third at the 2016 US Olympic Trials as an 18-year-old.

“When I wrestled with him and I wrestled to my abilities,[Pin]happened so fast — the way I dreamed about it, but I didn’t necessarily know I believed in that dream,” Hancock remembered. “It was a moment like, ‘Man, these (Olympic gold medals) dreams come true.’ I think whatever can happen, it can be a lot.”

But before Hancock ever hit the road to potential Olympic glory, he needed a wake-up call.

While at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Hancock — then wrestled as Tracy, his given maiden name — made the state podium in his first two years. However, as a junior, his lack of off-the-matt focus took hold, and he was expelled from school for fighting.

If the opposing coach hadn’t wondered what happened to Hancock, he wouldn’t have been in Tokyo. After Hancock’s win in a win against Pine Creek earlier in his junior season, Eagles coach and 2008 Olympian TC Dentzler wondered why the giant, crude wrestler wasn’t in his next double. When Dantzler learned that Hancock was in trouble, he tracked him down and showed up at his door.

“I opened the door and I swear the first thing he says to me is, ‘Hi, I’m TC Denzler, and I’m the guy who’s going to change your life,'” Hancock recalled. “A few minutes later I was packing my things. At this point my parents were certainly thinking of alternative options for discipline such as military school. Something had to happen, and TC was my last chance.”

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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