To the editor:
Saturday night in Iowa City, Iowa, in front of nearly 13,000 wrestling fans at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Ali Bernard climbed up on the elevated platform and stepped on the mat representing Gator Wrestling Club and New Ulm.
As she has done in so many tournaments across the country and around the world over the last 15 years, Ali gave us all a reason to be proud one more time. Although the matches that night did not go her way, Ali did what she has always done and gave her best effort.
Before going off to wrestle in college in Canada, Ali won a Junior World Title as a senior in high school and was named the National Female High School Wrestler of the Year the following summer. Her college years resulted in five Canadian national titles and numerous other tournament wins and placings. Throughout Ali's career, even after reaching the highest level in the sport by becoming an Olympian in 2008, her affiliation has always included her hometown of New Ulm.
Last weekend in Iowa City the 1972 and 1984 Olympic Wrestling teams were announced, a 2008 Olympic Champion removed his shoes and threw them into the crowd, signifying the end of his career, and Ali Bernard did us all proud as she brought New Ulm onto one of the biggest stages in the sport once again. Thank you Ali. It has been an incredible ride, and we are very proud of you.