NEW ULM - If you don't have Olympic fever yet, New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman is hoping you'll catch it by Thursday morning.
That's when New Ulm's Ali Bernard will begin her second run for an Olympic medal, competing in Women's Wrestling in the 72 kg/158 pound weight class.
The competition begins about 7 a.m. Thursday, and will be live-streamed on nbcolympics.com. But the mayor hopes the excitement starts building earlier.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm businesses are displaying their support for Olympic wrestler Ali Bernard with signs like the one at Sid’s Signs at the corner of 7th North and Broadway. Bernard wrestles on Thursday, Aug. 9 at about 7 a.m. CDT.
The City of New Ulm will deck the downtown with American flags, as it does for holidays, on Wednesday. Beussman is encouraging people to put out flags at their homes, and to wear red, white and blue on Wednesday and Thursday.
Bernard has been wrestling in New Ulm since she was a little girl, and competed on the New Ulm High School Wrestling team. After high school, she attended college in Canada, at the University of Regina and then University of Alberta, where there is a stronger women's wrestling program. She won five Canadian Collegiate Championships. She has been competing on the national and world stage as well.
Bernard placed fifth in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and competed for the U.S. team in world competitions in 2009 and 2011, winning a bronze in the 2011 World Championships. Her Olympic hopes were derailed in April when she lost in the Olympic trials to Stephany Lee, but she was called back when Lee tested positive for marijuana.
Bernard's Twitter account is @asbernard86.