Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Despite Delays, Lions Welcome Russian Team

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Despite Delays, Lions Welcome Russian Team

Article excerpt

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic for Lindenwood College wrestling coach Stacy Weiland. And this week doesn't figure to be any easier.

Weiland had been working to set up a visit by a select team of Russian wrestlers for early January. But the U.S. government shutdown caused some visa problems, postponing the trip.

"I'd get a call that they were coming and then they'd call to say they couldn't make it," Weiland said. "It went back and forth like that for a couple of weeks. Then I get a call that they're definitely coming and I've got less than a week to put it all together."

The select team of Russians from Siberia arrived here after Friday midnight and competed in the Roger Denker Open at Central Missouri State University on Saturday. They were scheduled to travel to Missouri Valley College in Marshall for a dual meet Tuesday and are scheduled to meet Lindenwood in a dual at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lindenwood Sports Complex in Bridgeton.

"There are 19 Russians here; 14 wrestlers, four coaches and a referee," Weiland said. "They have some very talented wrestlers - two of them placed at Central Missouri - but they're still adjusting to the collegiate style of wrestling. They're very good freestyle wrestlers, but (collegiate) style is something that's completely new to them.

"But like I said, these guys are very talented and having them here with us has to help our wrestlers. You're only as good as your competition in the wrestling room and the Russians should help push us. It's an ego t hing - nobody wants to look bad, so they're all going extra-hard."

The Russians, who will be competing for spots on their Olympic team, are coached by Dmitri Mindivshivili, who is considered the czar of Russian wrestling. He is the most successful coach in Russian wrestling history and has been the Russian Olympic coach for the last 20 years. …

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