Jake Varner, a decorated young wrestler from Bakersfield, California, will be representing the United States in the 2012 London Olympics. An Olympic medal is the ultimate goal for any amateur athlete, and a medal would be a fitting culmination of Varner's career in wrestling so far.
Varner was a dominant wrestler in high school, posting a record of 159-10 with 132 falls and winning the California State Championship twice. He continued to find success in college, reaching the NCAA Division I finals four years in a row, winning the Division I Championship in his junior and senior years. The winning didn't stop with college, either. Post-college Varner has won the Pan American Games, the U.S. Open, and the U.S. World Team Trials.
Varner looks to continue that success in London, where he will be competing in the 221.5lb (96kg) division. That's a division without a clear favorite, leaving the door open for Varner to achieve Olympic glory. Iran's Reza Yazdani is the reigning World Champ but is far from unbeatable. All of the action from the 211.5lb division takes place Sunday, August 12.