Sanderson named TheMat com Wrestler of the Week

By John Fuller | Sept. 01, 2004, 12 a.m. (ET)
Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) has been named Wrestler of the Week for the week of August 24-30. Each week, will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday. Sanderson won an Olympic gold medal on August 28, capturing the only gold for any U.S. wrestler at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In the gold-medal match, Sanderson defeated 2000 Olympic silver medalist Moon Eui Jae of Korea, 3-1. "I'm happy. It's been a long road and I hoping to realize it's over soon. It's a tough tournament and I'm glad to be here. It's just a great experience. I had fun even when I was behind in my matches," Sanderson said after the win. Overall, Sanderson won five matches in the tournament. In three of those wins, he had to post come-from-behind victories. In the finals, Sanderson trailed 1-0 before scoring the final three points. In the semifinals against 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero of Cuba, Sanderson also trailed 1-0 before scoring three straight points in a 3-2 victory. In the quarterfinals, Sanderson trailed Majid Khodaei of Iran 5-3 in the second period before winning 6-5 in overtime. Sanderson defined perfection in college, going 159-0 and winning four NCAA titles at Iowa State, then winning a World silver medal in 2003 in freestyle wrestling. He is originally from Heber City, Utah. Click here to view previous Athletes of the Week