The talk of the wrestling world this week has been the discussion surrounding Iowa’s Spencer Lee – more specifically, his recently torn anterior cruciate ligament and what that means for his longstanding goals of winning Olympic gold this summer in Tokyo.
— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 21, 2021
Today, March 26, the wrestling community leaned what fate is ahead for the former Franklin Regional star and Olympic hopeful: He will will withdraw from the upcoming United States Olympic Trials, which will be held April 2-3 in Fort Worth, Texas.
“With careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the United States Olympic Trials,” Lee said in a written statement released on Twitter. “It is not an easy decision, but after consulting with my coaches, family, brothers, and medical staff, I know it is the right decision.”
Go Hawks pic.twitter.com/j3TXlaBUKR
— Spencer Lee (@LeeSpencerlee36) March 26, 2021
Shortly after winning his third 125-pound title for the Hawks the mat in St. Louis earlier this month, Lee revealed that he competed at the national tournament despite having two torn ACLs. The Murrysville, Pennsylvania, native previously tore his right ACL in high school and re-injured that knee in the 2019 NCAA finals. Just prior to the 2021 NCAAs, he tore the left ACL.
Despite the seriously wounded knees, Lee went 5-0 and outscored his opponents 59-8 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. He defeated Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney 7-0 in the finals match. Lee’s performance led Iowa to its first national title since 2010.
Lee has not offered a timeline for his recovery.
The reigning Hodge Trophy winner, who may be looking at his second Hodge Trophy after his 2020-21 performance, is on a 35-match winning streak and will carry that into the 2021-22 season. In St. Louis, Lee became the seventh three-time champion in program history.
Next season, Lee will return to Iowa and go for his fourth title, something only four wrestlers have ever done.