One-legged wrestler wins national title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In wrestling, getting an opponent on one leg helps set up a takedown.
Mesa (Ariz.) High School's Anthony Robles is used to wrestling on only one leg -- he was born with just one.
Robles didn't let that stop him from becoming a national champion, though.
Robles won the NHSCA High School Senior National Wrestling Championship 112-pound final Sunday at Petersen Events Center with a 9-1 major decision over Justin Paulsen of California. The win capped off a stunning 53-0 perfect season -- his second consecutive undefeated season.
"You don't have a disability unless you think you do," Robles said. "I don't care what other people think. I love wrestling, I love the sport and I love to do it."
After Robles won the title, Mesa coach Bob Williams had nothing but praise for the senior
"I've never seen a wrestler like this, and I will never see another one like him," Mesa coach Bob Williams said. "He's a huge inspiration to me, his teammates and his entire school."
Robles said he couldn't accept all the credit for his success this season.
"I thank God for giving me a talent and surrounding me by good people," Robles said. "I grew up with three other brothers that never treated me like I was different."
Robles amassed a 131-15 high school career record and won two Arizona state championships in his four years of wrestling. Robles improved significantly from his 5-5 freshman season.
"My coaches molded my style and made me a completely different wrestler than I was when I started," Robles said. "I give them all the credit."
Robles perfected the arm drag into a single or double-leg takedown. He performs several pinning combinations from the top position, and his best move is called a ball and chain.
"There are a lot of moves I can't do that my competition can, but there are some I can do that they can't," Robles said. "I can drop to my knee really low. My leg is strong, and my shots are really quick."
Robles says his biggest advantage is his strength. Because he lacks the weight a second leg would inherently bring, his upper body has considerably more mass than most other 112-pound grapplers.
"His body mass has really helped him," Williams said. "The hardest part for him was learning to balance it. Sometimes, he has to lean his body or stick one of his elbows out to keep from falling."
Robles is determined to train the same way his two-legged teammates do. With the use of crutches, Robles regularly participates in a two-mile run.
"It was a lot of trial and error trying to figure out how to best train him," Williams said. "At first, we didn't want him to strain too much, so we put him on the bike. He just wants to be part of the guys and do the same thing they do."
Robles wants to wrestle in college but is undecided as to where to go. For now, he just wants to enjoy the moment.
"I think God gave me a gift by only giving me one leg," Robles said. "Other people may not see it that way, but I do."
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.
- Bullskin, Connellsville communities to hold National Day of Prayer ceremonies
- Google ‘Project Fi’ aims at cheaper, reliable wireless services
- 6 seeking 5 spots on Mt. Pleasant board
- Starkey: Pirates’ trade of Snider still reeks
- VND high school roundup: Highlands softball team makes playoffs
- Mt. Pleasant’s former top cop says no grant money was lost
- ‘FAILURE OF HUMANITY’
- Trojans complete romp of Mikes
- Connellsville woman charged with causing 4-vehicle crash
- Leopards win two; clinch playoff berth
- Vulcans to host NCAA regional