Dream big. Believe in yourself. Do the work and expect to win. Trust in God for real victory.
That was the advice of Olympic coach and athlete LeRoy "Lee" Kemp, who recently visited York College to work with the wrestling team.
Kemp, a friend of York College Head Wrestling Coach Ramon Diaz, was the keynote speaker at the team's end-of-year banquet.
Kemp shared some of his life story with the wrestlers. He started wrestling in the ninth grade. By the end of his high school career he had compiled two undefeated seasons while winning two Ohio State titles in his last two seasons.
Lee Kemp was America's first three-time World Champion, winning his first title in 1978 at age 21, establishing him as the youngest American world champion ever, a distinction he held for 30 years. Lee was a four-time World Cup Champion, seven-time United States Freestyle National Champion. He was a heavy favorite for gold earning a berth on the 1980 United States Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team, but was unable to compete because of the U.S. boycott of the Olympics.
Kemp was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 1990. Then at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where he was one of the freestyle coaches for the U.S., he became just the fifth American to be inducted into the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Despite all of his professional success, Kemp shared with students that he also went through some dark times personally. During those struggles, he says God provided for him over and over again and used times of turmoil to ultimately bless him.
Today, Kemp is the co-founder and President of FORZA by Lee Kemp, a nutritional supplement company. FORZA by Lee Kemp is the official corporate partner of USA Wrestling and its national teams.
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