Members of the Cornell College wrestling program participated in a wrestling exchange program set up by a Ram alumnus, sending Cornell assistant coach Chad Beatty to China with senior 197-pound NCAA Division III runner-up Alex Coolidge and sophomore 184-pounder Aburough Abegesah.
Bill Aossey, a 1963 graduate who is the president of Midamar Corporation in Cedar Rapids, organized the event. Aossey has had a relationship with Hebei, where the athletes stayed, began with an agricultural exchange in 1985. Hebei has had a relationship with Iowa for 30 years, according to a Cornell release.
It was a great opportunity for the Rams.
“Bill’s idea was to get a small group of athletes to come for training and friendly competition, a goodwill tour,” Cornell head coach Mike Duroe said in a news release. “Hebei wanted two bigger weight guys, and Alex and Aburough both agreed. I wanted Chad to go because he works out with those two guys regularly.”
Duroe also added, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our athletes and staff to experience a very interesting and unique culture. Iowa is known worldwide for agriculture and wrestling, so it’s a perfect combination for the sister city of Hebei and a prominent college from the state of Iowa to come together. Cornell College will be represented very well by these outstanding student-athletes, and Coach Beatty will be a great ambassador for Cornell.”
Hopefully, this photo is not part of an international incident. It all depends on how well these wrestlers can sing. I have not yet heard of Chinese officials asking for an apology.
The three Ram representatives arrived in Beijing on Aug. 7. They were originally scheduled for four to five hours of training, consisting of technique, strength and conditioning.
The trip coincided with the National Games of China, the country’s biggest athletic event held every four years. It is considered as important as The Olympic Games for Chinese athletes, according to the Cornell news release.
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