There are only three wrestling officials from the United States going to the Olympics and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School wrestling coach, Stacey Davis, is one of them. Davis is one of the two U.S. mat officials.
He leaves today for London. Wrestling competition starts on August 5.
The journey to London has been about a two-year process of officiating at a series of tournaments including the World Wrestling Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, said Davis, the 2011 USA Wrestling Official of the Year.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I can’t wrap my head around it. The sheer event itself – being around some of the top athletes in the world, it is a pinnacle.”
Davis’ wrestling career started in 1996, he said. Before he was hired at Holy Innocents’ five years ago, Davis ran private wrestling gyms.
The coach said, wrestling is unique from most other sports because it's one on one. “You find yourself in a situation where you can’t blame others for mistakes you’ve made. There’s not a tougher sport mentally or physically. It teaches you very important life skills,” he said.
Last weekend, the wrestling coach was at the ASICS/Vaughn Junior and Cadet National Championships, in Fargo, N.D., where Holy Innocents’ rising senior Jason Grimes finished eighth in the Greco-Roman category for Team Georgia.
Grimes, a four-time All-American, said he was a little disappointed with the outcome, in a statement.
Davis will have renewed inspiration for Holy Innocents' wrestlers when he returns from London.
“One of the things Holy Innocents’ talks about is the global experience,” he said. I will be around athletes and coaches from all over the world. They are the best at what they do. I will tell the guys [when I get back to school] that what we do is very similar.”