MARQUETTE—The United States Olympic Education Center is scheduled to host the third annual NMU Olympic Challenge at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the Superior Dome on the campus of Northern Michigan University.
With the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, fast approaching, the USOEC invites the community to take advantage of the home competition.
“The Olympic Challenge will give local residents a sneak preview of some of the athletes, live and in action, who will be competing for spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in their respective sports,” said USOEC director Jeff Kleinschmidt.
One athlete hoping to earn a position on the 2008 Olympic Team is USOEC boxing featherweight (125 pounds) Walter Sarnoi (Monterey Park, Calif.). The Northern Michigan University senior earned silver at the Police Athletic League National Championship last fall in Oxnard, Calif. He’s busy preparing for the next Olympic Trials qualifier, but he’s looking forward to boxing in front of a local crowd.
“It’s great being able to compete in Marquette and have familiar faces supporting us [USOEC]. It gives us a chance to show our professors and classmates what we do every day,” said Sarnoi.
The four summer Olympic sports teams that train at the USOEC—boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, women’s freestyle wrestling and weightlifting—will compete at the challenge. On the mat, the Greco-Roman wrestlers are scheduled to take on members of the U.S. Army team from Colorado Springs, Colo., including 66-kilogram 2004 Olympian Oscar Wood. Inside the ring, the boxers are scheduled fight contenders from the Canadian boxing team. The weightlifting and women’s freestyle teams will conduct intra-squad competitions.
Admission is free for students and $2 for adults. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door the night of the event.