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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Less than a week after winning an NCAA championship with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Iowa's Spencer Lee has withdrawn from the USA Wrestling's Olympic Team Trials.
The event is set for April 2 at Fort Worth, Texas.
Lee was a contender to represent Team USA at 125 pounds in the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo. He announced the decision via Twitter Friday afternoon, discussing the move with those closest to him.
'With careful thought and consideration I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the United States Olympic Team Trials,” Lee tweeted from his personal account. 'It's not an easy decision, but after consulting with my coaches, family, brothers and medical staff, I know it is the right decision. I am confident we will create a path that allows for a stronger and healthy return to competition.”
Lee won his third straight national 125-pound title Saturday night, beating Arizona State's third-seeded Brandon Courtney, 7-0, in the final to become Iowa's seventh three-time champion. In the post-match interview, Lee shared he suffered the ACL injury during the Big Ten Championships earlier this month. Lee still managed to post three major decisions and a technical fall in the national tournament, outscoring his foes 59-8 and recording the largest margin of victory in 10 finals bouts.
Lee helped the Hawkeyes to their 24th NCAA team crown and first since 2010.
'I cherish every opportunity I have to step on the mat with my brothers,” Lee continued in the Twitter message. 'We overcame adversity together and we won a national title together. I have been blessed with unconditional support at the University of Iowa, and I will offer the same to my teammates and coaches as they pursue Olympic gold medals while representing the United States in Tokyo. Go Team USA! Go Hawks!”
Lee is a three-time World Champion, capturing two Junior division titles and one as a Cadet. He also won the 2019 U.S. Senior Nationals. Last year, Lee won the Hodge Trophy and shared the AAU James A. Sullivan Award with Oregon basketball standout Sabrina Ionescu. Lee is a finalist for the Hodge Trophy again, going 12-0 with a 141-15 total points advantage and increasing his college win streak to 35 matches. He also is in line to be the fifth NCAA Division I four-time champion and the Hawkeyes' first.
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