BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – This weekend, U.S. Olympic Trials in wrestling will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and one former Hokie is hoping to punch his ticket to Tokyo for the summer games. Ty Walz will compete in the 97 kilogram division. Walz feels he’s benefitting from an extra year of preparation.
Walz remembers how it felt to learn that his olympic dreams would have to wait an entire year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“That seems like it was so long ago now at this point and so much has happened since then and I feel like I’ve grown and changed so much since then but that very much was a whirlwind of emotions,” said Walz.
The former Virginia Tech wrestler was set to compete in the olympic trials last April before the Tokyo games were postponed to this summer.
“That’s how you make your dream real is to imagine yourself there and take the steps towards creating it and making it as real as possible in your head so you can imagine it as well as you can and obviously this makes that dream a little bit more foggy because you’re not sure how realistic it’s going to be,” said Walz.
But the 2017 ACC champion knows how to adapt and has made the most of the extra time to prepare.
“For me it was a huge benefit. I feel like I’m very young in my career still. I still have so much to learn and so much getting better to do that I saw it as another benefit. I can’t see it any other way either because I know I got better,” said Walz.
The time spent off the mat proved to be just as important as the training on it. Walz spending much of the past year pouring over film from past matches.
“I’ve definitely noticed some improvement. The way I look at wrestling, the way I understand it has improved and it’s something that I’ve always neglected and that now has given me the benefit and the time to do it. And I think it’s going to pay some dividends moving forward.”
While walz hopes to wear the red white and blue in Tokyo, he knows he’s already worn the maroon and orange very well.
“The ability to represent Virginia Tech while doing exactly what I dream of doing, it’s incomparable to anything that I could imagine,” said Walz.
Walz was a three-time all-american during his time with the Hokies. Now, he’s a competition away from becoming an olympian and representing America on the sport’s biggest stage.