ZEKE JONES READY FOR OLYMPIC GAMES
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 10, 2004) - On Thursday, August 12, West Virginia assistant head wrestling coach Zeke Jones will travel to Athens, Greece, as a member of the United States Olympic freestyle coaching staff.
Jones travels to his first Olympic Games as an official member of the coaching staff. He had previously gone to the Olympics to coach specific U.S. competitors and was a member of the 1992 U.S. freestyle team. He knows it will be a magical two weeks for both himself and his wrestling partners.
"The 1992 Barcelona Olympics was a special time in my life to be able to win an Olympic medal for my country," says Jones, a silver medallist at those games. "It was an honor to win for myself, my family, my community and my country. Revisiting that experience 12 years later as a coach kind of completes the full circle for me. I cannot wait to represent Morgantown, the state of West Virginia and my country one more time."
Jones will join all U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches in the walk to Athens' Olympic Stadium for opening ceremonies on Friday, August 13. The wrestling team will continue training until competition on August 27-29.
The United States will field the exact same lineup that placed second in the World Championships in New York City this past summer. It will be very hard to match the four medals won at the 2000 Olympic Games.
Sports Illustrated's August 2 issue made its medal predictions for the 2004 Olympic Games. SI selected the U.S. to win six medals in wrestling, with three coming in men's freestyle.
Kerry McCoy was selected to win an Olympic silver medal in men's freestyle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Chosen to win bronze medals are Cael Sanderson at 84 kg/185 lbs., and Daniel Cormier at 96 kg/212.5 lbs. in men's freestyle.
"We believe we can win seven gold medals," says Jones. "To do that, each guy must prepare well, study his opponents, not make mistakes and not relax. The key is to stay focused every moment during their matches. I think expectations are high for our team and we've prepared well."
The NBC networks have posted a schedule of daily highlights of the television coverage of the Athens Summer Olympic Games. Log onto NBCOlympics.com for further television information.
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