The United States has been fortunate to do as well as it has in Olympic wrestling. The exception is the Greco-Roman style. American wrestlers have brought home 27 golds in freestyle but still are looking for their first gold in Greco-Roman.
In fact, the United States failed to win a single medal to any sort in Greco-Roman in Montreal.
In the Greco-Roman method, a wrestler is limited to using his upper body on attacks That favors maneuvers like headlocks, body locks and arm throws. The holds are based more on strength, use up more time, and make it extremely hard to score.
"The analogy there is that if you were target shooting, you would not get any points for being close to the center, only for hitting the bull's eye," said national coach Stan Dziedzic. "In Greco-Roman, the bull's-eye is a pin. It is easier for one's opponents to defense against getting scored on."
Nowhere in the United States, with the exception of a few clubs, is the Greco-Roman technique taught and developed in non-Olympic years.
The United States high school and collegiate form of grappling is the scholastic method, which is much more similar to freestyle than Greco-Roman. The primary difference is that the goal of freestyle is exposure of the opponent's shoulders to the mat, whereas in the scholastic, style, points also are awarded for control.
The Soviet Union has dominated both styles in the Olympics. In 1976, Russians won medals in every weight class of Greco-Roman, including seven or golds. Russia also ganered eight medals in freestyle, five of them gold.
Four Americans have legitimate chances for freestyle gold: brothers Ben and John Peterson, NCAA champion Lee Kemp and Jimmy Jackson. The Petersons have each won a gold and silver in past Olympics. Kemp is the 1978 world 163-pound champ, and two-time NCAA champ Jackson has beaten the 1976 Soviet gold medalist.
Contesting John Peterson for the 180-pound berth on the American team will be Mark Lieberman of the New York Athletic Club and formerly of Lehigh University. Two-time world champ Adolf Seger of West Germany, a silver medalist to Peterson's gold in Montreal, again will provide the principal competition in the class, along with Russia's Magomed Aracilov and Istvan Kovacs of Hungary.
Wade Schalles, who was second in 1976 Olympicc qualifying, will press Kemp for the 163-pound slot as well National AAU titlist Chuck Yagla. Montreal gold medalist Date Jichiro of Japan and silver meadlist Mansour Barzegar of Iran also return.
Jackson, the 360-pound NCAA champion but of Oklahoma State University, has twice beaten Montreal gold medalist Soslan Ardiev.
Heavyweight (220 pounds) hopes for the United States ride on the shoulders of Wisconsin assistant coach Russ Hellickson, the silver meadlist to Russia's Nikolai Bolboshin in Montreal. East Germany's Harold Buttner, the defending world champion must also be considered a contender.
In the lighter classes, Bill Rosado, formerly of Arizona State and Jim Hines (Wisconsin) are probable American representatives at 105 and 114 pounds, respectively. A trio of 125-pounders will fight it out for that position.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - James Howard, Pat Halloran
MEDAL FAVORITES - Alexey Shumakov, Soviet Union; Salih Bora, Turkey; Todor Jordanov, Bulgaria
1976 CHAMPION - Shumakov
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Sam Barnachia, Marty Lockwood
@%@medal favorites - Nicu Ginga, Romania; Moradali Shirani, Iran; Kamil Fatkulin, Soviet Union
1976 CHAMPION - Vitaly Konstantinov, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Brian Gust, Dan Mello, David Kida
MEDAL FAVORITES - Pertti Ukkola, Finland; Farhad Mustafin, Soviet Union; Ivan Frigic, Ygoslavia
1976 CHAMPION - Ukkola
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Hachiro Oichi, Reid Lampwhere
MEDAL FAVORITES - Laszlo Reczi, Hungary; Kazimierz Lipien, Poland; Ion Paun, Romania
1976 CHAMPION - Lipien
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Dave Schult, Larry Morgan, Robert McNeil
MEDAL FAVORITES - Heniz Helmut-Wehling, East Germany; Lars-Erik Skiod, Sweden; Nikola; Dirnoy, Bulgaria
1976 CHAMPION - Suren Nalbandy, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Abdul Raheem Ali, Gary Pelco, James Andre
MEDAL FAVORITES - Viteslav Macha, Czechoslavakia; Janko Siopov, Bulgaria; Ferenc Kocsis, Hungary
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Dan Chandler, Brent Noon, Mark Johnson
MEDAL FAVORITES - Vladimir Cheboksarov, Soviet Union; John Draic, Romania; Momir Petkovic, Yugoslavia
1976 CHAMPION - Petkoive
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - William Bragg, Evan Joynson
MEDAL FAVORTIES - Frank Anderson, Sweden; Petre Dicu, Romania; Stojan Nikolov, Bulgaria
1976 CHAMPION - Valery Kezantsev, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Brad Rheingans, Craig Schoene
MEDAL FAVORITES - Nikolay Balboshin, Soviet Union; Reflk Memisevic, Yugoslavia; Gheroghiu Petkov, Bulgaria
1976 CHAMPION - Balboshin
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Bob Walker, Greg Woicjechowski
MEDAL FAVORITES - Nikolai Diney, Bulgaria; Aleksandr Kolchinsky, Soviet Union; Arne Robertsson, Sweden
1976 CHAMPION - Kolchinski
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Bill Rosado, Robert Weaver, Richard Salamone
MEDAL FAVORITES - Serge Kornilaev, Soviet Union; Nobulo Fulisawa, Japan; Hwa-Kyung-Kim, South Korea
1976 CHAMPION - Khassan Issaev, Bulgaria
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Jim Hines, Mike Farina
MEDAL FAVORITES - Anatoly Belogazo, Soviet Union; Yuji Takata, Japan, Vadyslaw Stecyk, Poland
1976 CHAMPION - Takata
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Randy Lewis, Jose Corso, Jack Reinwand
MEDAL FAVORITES - Tomiyami Hidearl Reinwand, Viktor Alexeyev, Soviet Union.
1976 CHAMPION - Vladimir Yumin, U.S.S.R.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Tim Cysewski, Gene Davis, Jim Humphrey
MEDAL FAVORITES - Valdimir Yumin, Soviet Union; Kenichi Horii, Japan; Joseph Del'Aquila, Canada
1976 CHAMPION - Jung-Mo Jang, South Korea
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Jim Humphrey, Chuck Yagla
MEDAL FAVORITES - Pavel Pinigin, Soviet Union; Seidi Saban, Yugoslavia; Zeveg Oidov, Mongolia
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Lee Kemp, Wade Schalles
MEDAL FAVORITES - Date Jichior, Japan; Kemp; Mansour Barzegar, Iran
1976 CHAMPION - Jichiro
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - John Peterson, Mark Lieberman
MEDAL FAVORITES - Peterson, Adolf Seger, West Germany; Magomed Aracilov, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Ben Peterson, Bud Palmer
MEDAL FAVORITES - Peterson; Une Neipert, West Germany; Anateliy Prokopchuk, Soviet Union
1976 CHAMPION - Levan Tediasvili, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Larry Bielenberg, Russ Hellickson
MEDAL FAVORITES - Harold Buttner, East Germany; Aslanbek Bisultanov, Soviet Union; Vasile Puscasu, Romania
1976 CHAMPION - Ivan Yarygin, Soviet Union
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITORS - Jimmy Jackson, Greg Woiciechowski
MEDAL FAVORITES - Soslan Andiev, Soviet Union; Marin Guertchev, Bulgaria: Jackson
1976 CHAMPION - Andiev