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Local wrestler’s Olympic dreams put on hold

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Two-time NCAA champ Yianni Diakomihalis will have to wait until 2021 to try for Olympic Games

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) —  Yianni Diakomihalis of Hilton took a year off of wrestling at Cornell to train specifically for the Olympic Games. Now, he’ll have to wait a bit longer after it was announced that the Olympic games were getting pushed to next year.

Less than three weeks ago, he was in Canada, winning gold at the Pan-Am Wrestling Championships. But that’s also about the time that things started to change around the wrestling world.

“They started canceling stuff around the world. That was when Italy started getting bad,” says Diakomihalis. “Then, they canceled the NCAA wrestling tournament and that was a big foreshadowing to me that maybe the Olympic Trials or the Olympic Games were going to get canceled or postponed.”

Today the official word came out that the games would be postponed. It was a disappointing blow to Diakomihalis and everyone in the athletic community.

“You peak, you prepare, you’re spending your whole year, months for this weekend in April and weekend in August for the Olympics and then the Trials,” he says. “To find out they get canceled is really disappointing.”

The former Hilton Cadet has won four high school titles, two NCAA championships, but to be able to represent your country on the biggest stage, that’s his dream.

“That’s the ultimate goal. If you can come home with a gold medal from the Olympic Games, that’s the pinnacle. That’s the peak. You beat the best guys in the world on their best day,” says Diakomihalis.

He agrees with the decision to postpone the games, and as a younger wrestler, waiting one more year might actually help him in the long run.

“Try to just look at the silver lining. It’s only a year from now,” says Diakomihalis. “To be honest, that’s much closer to my physical prime. I’m still young, still developing.”

Diakomihalis is now focused on staying in shape, and with all the gyms closed in the area, he’ll be training in the gym in his garage against local wrestlers. That includes his younger brother Greg, who just finished his high school career with his fifth state title.

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