The path ascending to Olympic honor involves its fair share of ups and downs. But the wrestling fraternity has recently witnessed the spartan, Kyle Dake, conquer these odds. Though his 4-1 and 3-1 wins against Jason Nolf at the Olympic Team Trials seemed easy sweeps, they signify his years of grinding to perfection. And, it seems that to get to this juncture; the wrestler has extracted valuable learning from all his experiences, even the losses.

Recently speaking to the Spartan Combat, Kyle Dake enunciated his definition of a loss. Whilst putting forth his perspective, the wrestler also provided tips on the ideal way to deal with it.

Decoding a loss: the Kyle Dake way


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An Instagram post uploaded by Spartan Combat shows Dake talking about what losing means to him. In the video, the 33-year-old seasoned wrestler propounds, Losing is such a weird concept…” Further backing it up with an explanation, he reasons I guess it’s mostly an emotional, mental thing.However, he sees exactly how defeat engenders self-doubt within a person. It often tricks people into questioning, Do I think I’m good enough to do this? 

And speaking with experience, Dake believes that people often choose the wrong trail. He suggests that instead of acknowledging failure as something to learn and seeing the lesson in it, people get caught up in their insecurities. But, while he puts forth his opinion, he doesn’t deny the variability of life. He says there are also people who will lose and never reach their goals. However, he suggeststhere is a reason for it and people must trust that.

But what is the way out? In such cases, the Dake-tip is to “Zoom out!” Shifting settings to the 30,000ft view and questioning, What does this look like for me?” The Cornell alum believes the benefits of this can be diverse. It could lead to great success. Who knows? he adds.

via Getty

It could even empower one to impact the world. This is where he draws a parallel to himself. He claims he has accomplished a lot of goals in his life that you could never.” But with this mantra, All of a sudden, you’re transforming the world in a different way that I never could.The point is- that we are all here to serve a special purpose.

Therefore, the veteran suggests an inclusive formula.Don’t get tripped up“. And this will help one to figure things out, eventually. The depth and the thoroughness of Kyle Dake’s suggestions reveal the profundity of his experiences. It has naturally taken a lot for him to fall-learn-get up-correct himself. And his career certifies that.


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What has it taken for Dake to be here today?

Born in a family of wrestlers, his father a 1985 NCAA All-American and his grandfather a high school wrestling coach, Dake’s inclination for the sport was as though inherent. In 2008, he committed to Cornell University, flagging off his achievement-laden college career. He prides an ultimate collegiate record of 137-4, going undefeated in 2 full seasons and leading with a 77-match winning streak. One can only imagine the magnitude of the career peak he saw.

But post-college, his journey hit a few bumps. In 2013, he missed the World Team Trials champion spot to Jordan Burroughs. The same was his fate in 2015 with another second finish. But a more gut-wrenching loss came in 2016, the Olympic year when he stood defeated at the Olympic Trials by J’Den Cox in the 86kg division. And repeating the 2013 cycle, Burroughs got the better of Dake at the World Team Trials 2017 too.


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However, after years of successive disappointment in 2018, Dake finally had his breakthrough. He clinched gold at the 2018 Senior World Championships in the 79kg category, a title he defended in 2019. Moreover, swapping the weight class to 74kg, he still achieved ‘golden’ results at the 2021 and 2022 Senior World Championships.

But, the cinematic tick mark off his list was his Tokyo Olympics debut, where Dake finally bagged a bronze. Therefore, the man finally grounded his feet after a 4-year-long imbalance. This lesson of a lifetime is perhaps why he claimed, I was really good at failing,via UFC. Regardless, he always “dusted myself off, got back up, and went back at it.”