Olympic Profile: Perserverance Allowed Wrestler Justin Lester to Qualify for the Olympic Games

Yahoo Contributor Network

Justin Lester will represent the United States at the 66-kilogram weight class of the Greco-Roman wrestling tournament at the 2012 Olympic Games. Lester, who is competing in his first Olympic Games, is expected to wrestle on Aug. 7, 2012. Read on to learn more about the specialist with the U.S. Army.


Name: Justin Lester

Age: 28

Date of Birth: Sept. 30, 1983

Discipline: Greco-Roman

Weight class: 66 kilograms (145.5 pounds)

Natural Weight: 160 pounds

Height: 5-feet, 7-inches

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Club: Army

Coach: Shon Lewis

Olympic Games: 2012

International medals: 2007, bronze, World Championships; 2007, gold Pan American Games; 2006, bronze, World Championships.


Twitter: @LesterToLondon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justinharrylester


College: Northern Michigan University, Iowa State University. Lester studied history and geography.

High School: Cuyahoga Falls Valley Christian Academy

Parents: Father, Fred; Mother, Verleane

Siblings: Brothers, Fred, Ryan, and Damian; Sisters Sandra and Kenya

Children: Daughter, Zuriana


Hobbies: Playing chess, fishing, cooking, reading


Four years ago, Justin Lester wrestled as Harry Lester. At the 2008 Olympic trials, the two-time World Championship bronze medalist seemed to be a lock to qualify for the 2008 Olympic team.

Then, he was defeated in the finals by 18-year-old Jake Deitchler, who was, at the time, just a high school kid from Minnesota. It wasn't the first time he failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. In 2004, Lester finished fourth at the U.S. wrestling trials.

The 2012 Olympic trials brought a whole new Lester, though. Not only had Lester changed his name, but he also moved from Michigan to Colorado Springs, joined the Army and became a member of the Army's World Class Army Program.

Now, Lester is an Army Specialist and a member of the 2012 Greco-Roman Olympic team.

During an Olympic sendoff in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, Lester drew attention to the fact that he'd failed to make the Olympic team in his first attempts. He decided to keep working toward his goals, though, and now he's wrestling in London, he said.

"Time and time again you're gonna fail, but in the end it's usually gonna work out for ya," Lester said. "I can attest to that. I had failures in '04 and '08 and I'm finally on the Olympic team."

Read more from this author: Olympic Profile: Greco-Roman Wrestler Ben Provisor Dared to Dream

Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.

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