Olympic wrestling champ Angle visits Pine-Richland
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
For budding athletes, there is no cooler thing than to learn from an iconic professional in your sport.
Seeing just how Calvin Johnson runs a route or how LeBron James creates space to shoot is something any budding athlete would relish. At Pine-Richland last week, the wrestling team got a rare opportunity to learn from Olympic gold medalist and three-time NCAA champion Kurt Angle.
Angle came to visit the team because of a feature that ran in People magazine on life-skills teacher and assistant wrestling coach Ben Rings.
Rings is known as an inspiration because of his work with special-needs students and his helping to provide them with unique opportunities to build relationships.
He runs Pine-Richland's Best Buddies wrestling program, which gives special-needs students a chance to get on the mat.
Angle's visited a group of Best Buddies wrestlers and the varsity team, in part, to help the bonding process. He also delivered a message about how he was able to succeed even though he was not the biggest, strongest or fastest.
One wrestlers who learned from the experience was the up-and-coming Brendan Burnham.
“Kurt spoke about how he bettered himself through wrestling and how he had to work to be the best,” Burnham said. “What I took away was that he won more with heart and passion, because you can't always win with being strong or fast.
“It was cool how he told us about how wrestling taught him things that stuck with him his whole life.”
Angle took some time after he spoke to show the wrestlers his signature duck-under move that served him so well in several big matches.
“It was awesome for the kids to see someone who had the success Kurt had and to have him reinforce the same things we are teaching them,” Rings said. “It was nice to see someone who had the success Kurt had share that experience. He showed the kids some things we will work on ASAP.”
Angle, one of the stars of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, learned of Rings and the Best Buddies wrestling program and through TNA promoter Dixie Carter. Carter set up the meeting and also extended an invitation to have the Pine-Richland wrestlers attend a live TNA event at Indiana University (Pa.).
Angle was glad to take the time and share his experience.
“Wrestling teaches you about life,” Angle said. “I've learned more about my losses than my wins.”
He also spoke highly of Rings.
“Ben is not just a teacher or coach; he's a humanitarian,” Angle said. “You only meet these kinds of people once or twice in your life. Coach Rings is not in it for the fame. People magazine chose to recognize him. He's a special person.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Led by Kittanning’s Nolf, 3 locals win Class AA state wrestling titles
- Franklin Regional wrestler backs up his words with 1st state title
- Bethel Park’s Dunn continues hot streak at PIAA tournament
- Burrell’s Edwards 1 of 4 WPIAL wrestlers to reach PIAA Class AA finals
- Valley, Burrell advance 3 wrestlers each at state wrestling tournament
- Norwin’s Phipps earns spot in PIAA semifinals
- Valley’s Fields penalized for prematch handslap, leading to loss