Paul Tellgren applies the lessons of the carpet and of life


Tellgren’s impossible dream was to go back to school and try to get back to another Olympic team. The names had probably changed, maybe the environment was different, but it would be great if that was possible.

Tellgren contacted the northern Michigan head coach and, after an incredibly long appeal process due to his abrupt drop out of school, Tellgren was initially back.

“The fighting spirit, like the warrior mentality, never really goes away, especially at the elite level, and I stuck with it,” Tellgren said.

Back to school, back to training Tellgren was back in full swing… Almost.

Years of decaying body and inactivity had caught up with him. With a broken ankle and a broken wrist in two places, Tellgren was beginning to realize that his body and mind might no longer be aligned.

“I was trying to make my comeback and the Olympic trials were coming back and there is nothing you can do about a broken wrist,” Tellgren said. “I struggled out of shape with a broken wrist until I could prepare to try to compete again and it just wasn’t happening. I just wasn’t in shape for wrestling. My wrists were broken, my body was all beaten. In a combat sport, you can’t take seven years off and expect to come back; It’s not going to happen. “

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The position Tellgren found himself in would have been the most miserable and lonely place imaginable ten years earlier. Olympic gold was officially completely out of reach and would never be attainable again. After the last seven years he had, however, the fact that he was able to try again was more powerful than the sad reality of a lost dream.

Tellgren may not be an Olympic wrestler, but he graduated from northern Michigan and is back in Minnesota, coaching a national wrestling camp. Even though his dream did not come true, Tellgren is not “aimless”. It’s not about getting ready for the Olympics anymore, as Tellgren would like to have a bigger coaching role one day.

Whether it’s in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado Springs or wherever, helping to create the next generation of wrestlers to represent the United States will be more than enough. While the Olympic team and sports in general have taken a much more careful approach to dealing with head trauma, maybe Tellgren can save the next wrestler by pushing himself the same way he did. years ago.

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