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Former ASU wrestler Robles to be inducted to National Wrestling Hall of Fame

May 31, 2012

Two World champions, a successful coach and wrestler, and the heaviest athlete in Olympic history will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum on June 1-2, 2012 in Stillwater.

“We are fortunate to have such a rich heritage of wrestling in the United States and the Class of 2012 certainly perpetuates this sport’s extraordinary legacy,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “I am excited that our Hall of Fame gets to honor such a prestigious and diverse group.”  

The Medal of Courage, given to a wrestler who has overcome insurmountable challenges, is being awarded to Anthony Robles. Robles, who was born with one leg, earned three NCAA All-American honors while claiming the 2011 NCAA title at 125 pounds for Arizona State University. He is now pursuing a motivational speaking career with the Washington Speakers Bureau. 

Medal of Courage


If there was ever a reason to believe in the power of courage, look no further than Anthony Robles. Not only will Robles be recognized as a great wrestler, but he will be remembered as one of the most inspirational athletes in all of sport.

Robles, who was born without his right leg, never allowed his perceived disability get in the way of future wrestling success. Content to walk with crutches or to hop on one leg, Robles ripped off his prosthetic leg at the age of three. He continued to prove that life is about what you can do, not what you can’t. 

At the age of 14, while living in Mesa, Ariz., Robles found wrestling. Although Robles called himself the worst wrestler on the team, it was the start of a career that captured the nation’s imagination. Through the support of his family and coaches, Robles turned himself into a champion wrestler.

By the time he graduated high school, Robles had won two Arizona state championships—combining for a 96-0 record during his junior and senior seasons at Mesa High School. He finished his high school career with a 129-15 record.

Few colleges gave him a chance to excel at the next level. Robles, however, proved them wrong. Enrolling at Arizona State in 2006, Robles would string together a memorable wrestling career during his four years of competition. As a freshman 125 pounder in 2008, he just missed becoming an All- American, finishing just short of the medal stand.

For the next three seasons Robles would be a force in the 125 pound class. He placed fourth as a sophomore and seventh as a junior before capping his career with a title and the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the 2011 NCAA tournament as a senior. Robles went 36-0 during his final year, compiling a career collegiate record of 122-23.

Robles was also recognized nationally for his feats of courage, including the prestigious “Jimmy V” Award for Perseverance, and the Best Male Athlete with a Disability at the 2011 ESPY’s.