Lester (red) at the World Championships
MARQUETTE—For the first time, the United States Olympic Education Center is inviting community members to compete at the Olympic Challenge, which will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 14) in Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome.
Media personalities Mike Ludlum from WLUC-TV 6 and Dennis Whitley from Q107-WMQT and ESPN Radio 90 will strap on sumo suits to wrestle in two one-minute rounds. Whitley is excited for the match.
“I’ve done some wrestling in the past, but nothing with inflatable suits before,” he said. “I’ve known Mike for a while now; it will be tough to fight a guy of his stature.”
Another scheduled match includes a face-off between NMU housing and residence life resident directors and first-year graduate students Lindsay Sparks and Courtney Werner Reynolds. Members of NMU’s Greek organizations are also expected to hit the mat.
In the USOEC lineup, the Greco-Roman wrestling team will take on the U.S. Army. Oscar Wood, a 2004 Olympian, is tentatively scheduled to wrestle against 2006 world bronze medalist and NMU senior Harry Lester in a featured match. Lester is in position to take on Wood as he defeated 2006 world champion Li Yanyan of China 4-1, 6-0 at 66 kilograms last week (Feb. 7) at the Chicago Cup in Chicago, Ill.
The USOEC boxing team will take on Canada. In a special bout, two female Canadian national champions, Jamie Lea Pollock and Amber Konikow, will go head to head. It’s only the second USOEC-hosted competition where women boxers will climb into the ring.
The USOEC’s weightlifting and women’s freestyle wrestling teams will also compete in intra-squad competitions.
Admission is free for students and $2 for adults. Tickets are available for purchase at the door the night of the event.