Fairchild Airman competes with Air Force wrestling team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Emerald Ralston
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
An Airman from the 66th Training Squadron recently returned from competing with the Air Force wrestling team and travelling to Mountain Home, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Senior Airman Eddie Fore, 66th TRS Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist water survival instructor, has been wrestling for eight years and enjoyed being able to showcase his skills at an Air Force-wide level. 

"The competition was incredible," he said. "We competed and trained with the best wrestlers in the Nation and world, most of them being National and World Champions, and Olympians, which just made us train even harder. We have our training camp in Mt. Home, Idaho then from there we went to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic training center before heading down to Las Vegas for the National Championships and then back up to the Olympic training center to get ready for the last tournament of the season -- the University National Championships." 

Not only was the competition an exciting part for Airman Fore, but the chance to represent the Air Force was an honor as well. 

"I felt the Air Force wrestling team was a great opportunity to represent the Air Force in a different manner than I usually have," Airman Fore said. "One thing we did during the season was attend the Idaho High school wrestling state championships and it was great letting kids see that some of the best wrestlers in the Nation are in the military, representing our branches doing what we love. We got to let kids know college isn't the only option after high school. It was a great experience for all of us." 

But while there was fun to be had, it was also met by a lot of hard work. 

"The season was filled with ups and downs but that's what we wrestlers love about the sport," he said. "I left high school with a 136-16 record and the first day of camp, coach, Beijing Olympic Coach, Richard Estrella, said to me 'you're not good, you're just used to beating crappy guys....I will make you good -- all you have do to is work!' He was completely right and that set the tone of season for me." 

The work the wrestlers did consisted of training six hours a day, running, lifting weights and pushing themselves to the limits. The training was also mentally tiresome; as Airman Fore was learning a new style of wrestling he wasn't familiar with, Greco Roman.
"With our workouts we did a lot of team building competitions and exercises which really brought us together and helped everyone learn faster and get better as a wrestler," Airman Fore said. "We ended up finishing second in the Armed Forces Championship in which we never expected to win a match." 

The Air Force wrestling team that competed had a very young team and no heavy-weight competitor. Members of the team wrestled outside their weight class, showing the heart and guts the Air Force has, said Airman Fore. 

"At the National tournament we finished second in the Nation as a team, which was phenomenal," Airman Fore said. "Almost everyone on our team placed, and about half the team qualified for the world team trials." 

Overall, the competition and camaraderie made this a memorable experience for Airman Fore. 

"Wrestling has always been the purest sport to me," he said. "I love the dedication it requires and the countless hours getting thrown around. The weeks and months of working as hard as you can and when you step on the mat, even if you only score one point, or defend one move against your opponent, you realize all the hard work was worth it and you want more. When you step out there, it's all you, you don't have anyone else to blame if you lose and when you win, it's all because you and your team worked hard and you wrestled better because of that."