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USA Wrestling: Justin Lester, Army Specialist, Outspoken About Desire For Gold

With a background in both the corporate world and the US military, Greco-Roman wrestler Justin Lester is more than a jock. Even so, he is all about medals. Gold ones.

May 15, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Team USA men's wrestler Justin Lester during a portrait session at the 2012 Team USA Media Summit at the Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
May 15, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Team USA men's wrestler Justin Lester during a portrait session at the 2012 Team USA Media Summit at the Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

With a background in both the corporate world and the US military, Greco-Roman wrestler and Akron native Justin Lester is more than a jock. Even so, he is all about medals. Gold ones.

After nabbing back-to-back bronzes at the 2006 and 2007 world championships, Lester, 28, missed out on an Olympic spot in 2008. Lester then retired to pursue other interests, first entering the corporate world before landing in the military and becoming an Army Specialist.

His focus heading into the Olympics, however, is winning. From The Army Times:

"But for me, it's gold or nothing," Lester said. "Silver or bronze is OK. I already have two medals. They're not Olympic medals, but they're still medals.

"I gotta get that gold medal."

He echoed these sentiments to The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"I'm relieved," he said. "It's a huge chunk off my back. In a week, that weight is going to be back on. I've got to bring back a gold medal....

"I really have to perform in London," he said. "I have to show I was the best guy to come from the U.S. to go to London."

Qualifying for the 66kg weight class is on August 7, and the medal matches will be on August 12. Here is a complete schedule of wrestling events.

Stick with SB Nation Cleveland for coverage of local athletes going for gold in the 2012 London Olympics. For coverage on all aspects of the game, don't miss SB Nation's Olympics hub.

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Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.