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What happened to Thielke?

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he took an Olympic RS during the 15/16 season and subsequently announced he would not be returning to the Badgers, focusing on Greco instead.  He made the '16 Olympic Greco team, winning a match in the round of 16, but then lost to a former world champ, and 2-time Olympic Silver medalist.

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he took an Olympic RS during the 15/16 season and subsequently announced he would not be returning to the Badgers, focusing on Greco instead.  He made the '16 Olympic Greco team, winning a match in the round of 16, but then lost to a former world champ, and 2-time Olympic Silver medalist.

 

I missed that before Rio he announced his departure from the Badgers. Didn't he say in a 2016 interview something to the effect of "If I win the Olympics, why would I ever go back to folkstyle?"

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Thielke was basically wrestling up a weight class in college because he was holding his weight down for Greco.  He was very undersized at 141.  He had to make 59 KG for the Olympics, and couldn't allow himself to grow into a full sized NCAA 141, but 133 was too light to make 20-30 times a season.

Edited by jchapman

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Thielke struggled to be successful at the DI level and, by his 2nd year, I honestly think he gave up on folkstyle and used the Wisconsin room to train for Greco.  After the Olympics, I think his not coming back was a mutual thing.

I don't think he gave up, he should have been a wildcard NQ, but got screwed out of it when they gave it to a wrestler he had just pinned at B1G Tournament.

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Thielke was basically wrestling up a weight class in college because he was holding his weight down for Greco. He was very undersized at 141. He had to make 59 KG for the Olympics, and couldn't allow himself to grow into a full sized NCAA 141, but 133 was too light to make 20-30 times a season.

Is that really true? I bet he was average size at worst. I was very surprised to learn how much weight he cut to make 59. I remember in an interview a couple of summers ago he was like 16 or so over less than two days before at one point. If he’s cutting that much to make 132 days before weighins, he wasn’t exactly small for 141.

 

I think it was more a case of an elite Greco guy not having any focus on folkstyle than anything else.

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Is that really true? I bet he was average size at worst. I was very surprised to learn how much weight he cut to make 59. I remember in an interview a couple of summers ago he was like 16 or so over less than two days before at one point. If he’s cutting that much to make 132 days before weighins, he wasn’t exactly small for 141.

 

I think it was more a case of an elite Greco guy not having any focus on folkstyle than anything else.

I don't think you saw many of his matches in college.  He looked small for 141.  How many college 141 are walking around under 150, and cutting to 130-132, in the summer?

Edited by jchapman

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I saw a bunch. Maybe about a third of his matches. He didn’t look particularly small. Kendrick Maple won 141 walking around under 150. With 1-hour weighing, I’d say the average 141 lber is cutting about 10 lbs of water (this is after getting their body fat down in the preseason). So if Thielke was small, maybe by 3 lbs or so against the average, I’d guess. I just don’t think being small was his issue. He just wasn’t a folkstyle AA-caliber guy. Who can blame him. He was elite at Greco and was right to focus on it. Very few college AAs achieve what he has internationally.

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I saw a bunch. Maybe about a third of his matches. He didn’t look particularly small. Kendrick Maple won 141 walking around under 150. With 1-hour weighing, I’d say the average 141 lber is cutting about 10 lbs of water (this is after getting their body fat down in the preseason). So if Thielke was small, maybe by 3 lbs or so against the average, I’d guess. I just don’t think being small was his issue. He just wasn’t a folkstyle AA-caliber guy. Who can blame him. He was elite at Greco and was right to focus on it. Very few college AAs achieve what he has internationally.

Believe me, I think he was highly focused on Greco and didn't let folkstyle get in his way of Greco success.  I'm just saying I think he was purposely not wrestling at his optimum bodyweight in college so that he could be at his perfect Greco weight class.

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Thielke struggled to be successful at the DI level and, by his 2nd year, I honestly think he gave up on folkstyle and used the Wisconsin room to train for Greco. After the Olympics, I think his not coming back was a mutual thing.

Thielke was a D1 wrestler on his feet and a high school wrestler on the bottom.

He could take most anyone down.

I'm not sure if he ever got off the bottom. Took Henderson down easily a couple times, but was a destroyed By him on when on bottom.

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Okay, I was a little bored on lunch, so HERE's what's up with Thielke. As of 2017 he was planning on wrestling 65kg through 2020, trying to get into Army WCAP. He'd consider wrestling NAIA/D2 based on offers hes already been given, but highly doubts it. He was definitely cutting from around 150 to make 130 for 2016. 

 

 

0:23 "If I win the Olympics, why would I ever go back to folkstyle" April 2016

 

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5517783-thielke-watching-cornell-guys-go-greco-jesse-thielkempg

 

0:57 Thielke planned on weighing 147 the day of competition (17 over 59kg) in 2015

 

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5852766-thielke-talking-olympics-and-moving-forward

 

1:53 He's going 65kg for the foreseeable future, wants to take it to 2020. During the Olympic year, making 59kg "completely took over every aspect" of his life

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I remember him missing weight a few times and publicly criticizing Davis on his way out the door.

He has an interesting history.  Grew up with Dieringer, great HS wrestler and incredible success in Greco.

 

I don't think it was any secret that there was no love loss with Thielke and Davis, see article below1

 

5PM INTERVIEW WITH JESSE THIELKE

5PM: There’s obviously a lot to get to but let’s start with Wisconsin. I think coming into this Olympic year there were questions about you. Like, were you not cut out for college wrestling, had you had enough of college wrestling, or if Wisconsin messed you up from a technical aspect in terms of your Greco career.

Jesse Thielke: I guess that’s a good way you could look at all those things because they’ve happened to so many people. There’s so many proven examples of all those different things. But none of them are what happened to me. I think you can see now by the way that I wrestle on the world stage, which is of a much higher difficulty and degree than wrestling on the national stage, I’m over here throwing people around, dominating, ready to go. Wisconsin was just not a good environment for me. I didn’t get along with the coaches and that ended up leading to a lot of backlash. So I decided it was time for me to go do my own thing. And quickly I was right. You look at the results of me this year versus them this year as a team, which falls on their leadership, and it’s safe to say I left for a reason. That I did what I did for a reason and it has been working out for me in my favor.

So honestly, I just picked the wrong school. When I was recruited there, there were different coaches and people in charge. And they left for a reason. All these people are leaving for a reason. Only the alumni who got hired as assistant coaches stuck around. I was there when Tyler Graff was, and he bolted as soon as he could. It’s for a reason, you know? So I just let my wrestling, my training, and my work ethic talk for me. I don’t have to talk. Everyone else can talk, everyone else has excuses. At the end of the day, you look at the scoreboard, you look at the results and Jesse Thielke is winning. And that only changed when he went to Wisconsin. That should answer all of your questions right there.

5PM: Okay, so then do you just regret going to Wisconsin or do you regret continuing wrestling folkstyle?

JT: Both. I regret both. If I had thought college wrestling was worth all my time, I wish I had not wasted it at Wisconsin. But I know now more than ever that Greco is what I should be doing. It’s what I love. And we knew all that. But when has that ever stopped me from achieving high success before? It’s wrestling. It’s still wrestling, it’s just a different style, a different approach. I’m going to be out there competing all the time. But I wasn’t that guy at Wisconsin, for a couple of different reasons. It’s good to be out and I wish more people would stop associating me with the program because I never got any help while I was there, especially when it came to Greco. I was completely on my own and did all my training on my own. So the last thing I want is for people like that to take credit for anything I’m achieving from here on out.

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Here's the thing with Thielke: to this day, he is probably the best youth wrestler I've ever seen (Izzy Martinez is close), and maybe one of the top 10 HS wrestlers.  He was senior level greco talent in HS, so it wasn't even fair.  It was Kolat-esque.  Greco at that level is an entirely different sport from elite folkstyle, so with the exception of maybe some heavyweights, you aren't going to see crossover athletes at the highest level (actually making world/olympic teams and winning matches vs. placing at the open).  Freestyle is different.

 

That being said, look at all the multiple time NCAA champs that will probably never get, or never got a chance to do what Jesse has done at a young age.  So there is no way that he could be considered a "bust" or a "waste", LOL.  His good buddy Alex Dieringer won 3x NCAA titles and hasn't cracked that level.

Serves as a cautionary tale for college coaches and high level greco athletes.

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