All-Marine Wrestling Team faces abrupt dissolution following Olympics
August 2, 2021
Marine wrestling

All-Marine Wrestling competing at tournament in Guatemala. (Courtesy photo by All-Marine Wrestling Team)

The United States Marine Corps sponsors every USA Wrestling event in the country.

The Corps’ team, the All-Marine Wrestling Team, has had 6 continental champions, 6 national team members, 2 world team members, and even an Olympian, just in the last year.

Despite their expressions of support for the sport, and the recent successes of the All-Marine Team, the Corps is disbanding the group altogether by October.

Many members of the team have received orders to go back to their units, and some have already left. Some on the team have expressed frustration with the plans, and it is not hard to see why.

The All-Marine wrestlers work out three times a day and compete on a regular basis, which will seem to be for naught once the team is no longer competing. Left from this consideration is all of the weight cutting involved, as well as the service-related duties which can spill over into the season.

Multitasking is the hallmark of these wrestlers. Now they will no longer have the chance to continue down their chosen paths as athletes representing their branch.

U.S. Marine Corps, Sgt. Joshua Medina, right, throws Pfc. Thomas Hicks, left, with the All-Marine Wrestling Team (Photo by Lance Cpl. Christian Ayers)

Rumors become truth for Marine wrestlers

Last year, the All-Marine Head Coach, Jason Loukides, expressed his hopes for the future of the team in an interview with Fivepointmove.

He told the interviewer that surmounting the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic was possible because, “We just adjusted and took it as it comes while staying as upbeat as possible.”

Spurious rumors of dissolution began circulating the team during the 2020 pandemic, which have now turned out to be true.

An unidentified MARADMIN informed one of the team members of the plans for disbandment. It has been hinted that it may have disbanded last year, had Johnny Stefanowicz not qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Stefanowicz, the first U.S. Marine in nearly 30 years to make it to the Olympics, has thrived under the conditions of being both a Marine and an Athlete. He has described his athletic success as resulting from a combination of, “The power of God, the power of family, the power of country, the power of Corps.”

The future of All-Marine Wrestling is looking bleak at the moment. If Stefanowicz manages to bring home an Olympic medal, maybe then USMC will reconsider its choice to dissolve the program, although that is unlikely.

Also Read: Exclusive Interview: Olympian John Stefanowicz

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