CBC graduate Mango earns second trip to Olympic Games in wrestling
By: Warren Mayes
Mango, 25, earned an Olympic bid at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Saturday night in Iowa City, Iowa. Mango (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) earned his fifth consecutive trials title, beating Max Nowry (Wheeling, Ill./NYAC) in back-to-back matches at 121 lbs.
Mango, eighth at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, pinned Nowry in 1 minute, 53 seconds to grab the first bout and followed that up with a 1-0, 3-0 decision.
“The first time, I’ll admit, I surprised myself,” said Mango of his win in the 2008 Trials said after winning Saturday. “I knew I could do it, but I hadn’t done it yet. This time it was all business.”
Mango trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Getting back to the Olympics has been his top goal.
“(Qualifying) is the No. 1 priority. I’ve been working hard to get that done,” Mango said.
After getting a taste of the Olympic experience in 2008, finishing eighth in Beijing, Mango was anxious to get back on the world’s biggest stage and make his second U.S. Olympic Team.
Now, he has achieved that goal.
Unlike four years ago at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Las Vegas when he was not the favorite, Mango was the guy with his target on his back in these trials.
A three time U.S. Open champion, Mango has earned the opportunity to compete at the Olympics. Before, he has happy to be there. Now, he knows what to expect.
“I was kind of awe struck the first time. It was my first time being there, actually, it was my first time being number one in the U.S.,” Mango said. “It was definitely an eye opener for me and you get there and realize it’s the same guys you see everywhere else, just on a bigger stage.”
He has done just about everything in his sport expect win a medal in the Olympics.
Mango has won four national titles in his weight class. He came in ninth in the 2009 world championships and 19th in 2010.
In 2011, he won his fourth U.S. Open championship.
The Northern Michigan graduate joined the Army World Class Athlete Program in 2010. He is a specialist in the Army National Guard.
Mango was the prohibitive favorite in this weight class at the trials and he did not disappoint.
He has represented the U.S. at the World Championships in each of the past three years. He was a University World champion and Junior World bronze medalist.
However, Mango is still looking for his first World or Olympic medal on the senior level.
Now, he has that chance.