Anthony Robles

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Anthony Robles (born July 20, 1988) is a wrestler who won the 2010-11 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with only one leg. He is the author of the book Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion (Gotham Books), which went on-sale September 27, 2012.[1]

Youth[edit]

Robles was born with only one leg for unknown reasons,[2] but refused to wear a prosthetic leg, removing it at the age of 3.[3] Due to his leg's being missing all the way up to the hip, he has no stump to attach a prosthetic limb to. He endeavored to work around his missing leg, strengthening his body with various exercises. When Robles was in the sixth grade, he set a record for the most pushups by a member of his school.[3] He began wrestling in the eighth grade, joining in while watching one of his older cousins practice. As a freshman in high school Robles had a record of 5-8 and ranked last in the city of Mesa, Arizona,[4] disadvantaged by being 10 pounds underweight for his weight class. Robles benefited, however, from tremendous grip strength from his use of crutches. After intensive training Robles found that he could use his unusually low center of gravity to defend against attack, and became skilled at several offensive moves including one he created. In his sophomore year Robles was ranked sixth in Arizona,[2] and won two state wrestling championships going 96-0 in his junior and senior years combined at Mesa High School.[5] Robles won a national championship as a senior,[2] finishing his high school wrestling career with a record of 129-15.

Arizona State[edit]

Despite Robles' great high school success none of his top choices for college—Iowa, Oklahoma State, and Columbia—recruited him, likely because of his missing leg.[2] Robles redshirted as a freshman at Arizona State University, and finished 6th in the 2006 FILA Junior World Championships in the 55 kg Freestyle Wrestling category.[5] He started his collegiate wrestling career in 2007-08, where he was nationally ranked [3][5] and finished the year with a record of 25-11, falling just short of being named as an All-American. In his second competitive year as a collegiate wrestler (2008–2009) Robles earned All-American Honors, finishing the year 29-8, winning the Pacific-10 Conference Championship at 125 pounds and finishing fourth in the NCAA Championship's 125 pound weight class tournament. In 2009-10, Robles again earned All-American honors, finishing seventh in the NCAA 125 pound weight class, going 32-4 on the season, and repeating as the Pac-10 125 pound wrestling champion.

In Robles' final year of eligibility (2010–11), he went undefeated, going 36-0 on the year,[6] becoming a three-time Pac-10 champion (defeating Jason Lara from Oregon State in the final,[7] and a national champion, defeating the defending 125-pound NCAA Champion, Iowa's Matt McDonough, 7-1 in the final. For his efforts, Robles was voted the Tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.[8]

The 5'8" [9] Robles concluded his Arizona State wrestling career with a record of 122-23, a three-time Pac-10 wrestling champion as well as a three-time All-American. Robles ranks 8th for most match wins by an Arizona State wrestler.[6]

Future[edit]

Robles has stated that he wishes to become a motivational speaker, specifically for those who face similar challenges.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]

In January 2012, Robles was presented the 2011 Most Courageous Athlete Award by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Unstoppable From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion". http://us.penguingroup.com. 
  2. ^ a b c d Merrill, David (2013-03-18). "The One-Legged Wrestler Who Conquered His Sport, Then Left It Behind". Deadspin. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Doyel, Gregg (2008-02-10). "Sun Devils wrestler different, all right -- extraordinarily so". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  4. ^ Tonight Show, [1], 20 July 2011
  5. ^ a b c "Anthony Robles's Bio at Arizona State's Athletics Page". Arizona State University. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Wrestler with one leg wins NCAA Title". FoxSports.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  7. ^ "Boise State Wins 2011 PAC-10 Championship". Pacific-10 Conference Website. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  8. ^ Mihoces, Gary (2011-03-21). "Born with one leg, Arizona St. wrestler wins NCAA title". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  9. ^ Taylor, Phil (2010-03-22). "A Life in Balance". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  10. ^ Brown, Larry. "Arizona State Wrestler Anthony Robles Dominates on One Leg". Larry Brown Sports. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  11. ^ Cooney, Kevin (January 30, 2012). "PSWA Banquet: Robles feels at home in Philly". PhillyBurbs.com. Calkins Media, Inc. Retrieved 2012-04-29. 
  12. ^ McCaffery, Jack (January 30, 2012). "Philly holds special place in courageous Robles’ heart". The Mercury (Pottstown, Pa.). Retrieved 2012-04-29.