#GrecoMonday: Adam Coon looks forward to proving he belongs on the podium

June 24, 2019, 4:36 p.m. (ET)

Adam Coon battling Cohtlon Schultz at Final X: Lincoln. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers are Warriors.

Adam Coon made his second, straight Senior Greco-Roman World Team at Final X: Lincoln, two weekends ago. Last year, Coon defeated the reigning World Team member, five-time World and Olympic Team Member, Robby Smith two-matches-to-none to earn his spot. Coon would go on to win a silver medal at the World Championships, pinning all four of his opponents to reach the finals. Bringing home a World medal gave Coon a bye directly into Final X.

The script was flipped this year, as Coon was challenged by 18-year-old up-and-comer Cohlton Schultz. Despite his age, Schultz is one of the brightest Greco-Roman talents in the country. He is a Cadet World champion, and a 2018 Junior World bronze medalist. Schultz defeated Robby Smith in a best-of-three series at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament to earn a shot at Coon.

Although Coon took the series two matches to none, winning 8-0 and 5-1, he acknowledged how impressive Schultz’s skills were relative to his age.

“If we were both 18, he would have slaughtered me. I was not nearly this good when I was 18”. Coon said.

Despite the fact that he is the returning World silver medalist, Coon feels like he still has a lot to prove not just to others, but to himself as well.

“I still look at myself as the underdog. A lot of people say I got lucky with the draw, and even my inner demons say the same thing. I’ve probably got a target on my back and it’s probably a real big one because people are ticked off I was able to go as far as I did with that easy draw,” Coon said.

“Now it’s a realization that I have that target, but at the same time it’s nice to use that for motivation, I can say “hey I got an easy draw, now let’s prove that I belong up on that podium,” he said.

Coon looked phenomenal earlier this April, when he won the Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He picked up three pins in three matches on his way to a gold medal. However, Greco-Roman is not his only focus. Coon still competes in freestyle and was the No. 2 on the National Team last year. He did not make the National Team this year but hasn’t ruled out competing in freestyle again next year.

“My route so far has been Greco and freestyle. Next year for the Olympic trials, I don’t know. I’ve got to see what that looks like. My first focus is just going to be Greco this summer because that’s the team I made. Kind of similar to last year.” He said.

Coon is the only returning medalist on the Greco-Roman team, and will look to bring home another medal for Team USA this September in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.