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Can Mason Parris really take down legendary wrestlers at the Paris Olympics? Let's hear your thoughts!

In the realm of Olympic wrestling, where dreams are realized and challenges abound, Mason Parris emerges as a formidable contender. “We just think it’s destiny and it’s going to happen,” remarked the heavyweight wrestler confidently, reflecting on his meteoric rise and his ambitions for gold in Paris. With the Games looming, Parris remains resolute in his pursuit, undeterred by the formidable presence of seasoned champions. Over the past year, Parris has dominated the mat, securing an undefeated record, a national title, and the coveted Dan Hodge Trophy—a collegiate pinnacle akin to the Heisman Trophy.

Representing the University of Michigan Wolverines, he finished with a flawless 33-0 record, encountering minimal resistance en route to his National Championship. As the Olympics draw near, Parris dismisses any notion of being cast as an underdog, affirming his readiness to seize his moment on the grand stage of Olympic glory.

Mason Parris is not the Olympic newbie he’s portrayed as

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Earlier this year, Mason Parris secured victory in the 125kg finals at the U.S. Olympic wrestling team trials in State College. Speaking to Mlive on June 26, 2024, he expressed confidence in facing wrestling legends at the Paris Olympics. In his weight category, Mason is seeded after Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili and Iran’s Amir Hossein Zare. In 2023, Parris faced a tough 8-6 defeat against Petriashvili during the World Championships, but he’s determined to reclaim the crown. He said, “I know a good amount about all the guys and stuff to be aware of.” Parris further explained how because this is his first Olympics, he may come off as the underdog.

Polls of the day

Polls 1 of 4

Do you think Mason Parris has what it takes to win gold at the Paris Olympics?

Absolutely

No way

Maybe, if he gets lucky

Only time will tell

What do you think is Kyle Dake's biggest motivation to win gold at the Paris Olympics?

Personal glory

Proving doubters wrong

Family pride

Legacy

What do you think was the key to Mason Parris' success in Budapest?

His training regimen

His mental toughness

Support from his team

Experience from wrestling veterans

Do you think Victor Wembanyama will dominate the NBA like LeBron James?

Absolutely

No way

Too early to tell

He'll be even better

However, he is more than ready for any challenge thrown at him, “I think a lot of people underestimate me a little bit in that weight class. There’s a lot of legendary guys in the weight class, so I’m excited to take them out. I’m here to surprise a lot of people.” His confidence shined through in the trials as well. When he won, he wore a hat with the words ‘Parris for Paris’ written below the Olympic rings. He is eager to take over Gable Stevenson’s title in the category.

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Stevenson won gold in Tokyo after a close win against Mason months earlier at the NCAA finals. Mason spoke about how Stevenson really inspired him to do better, “He’s definitely pushed me to get better. I just have felt myself improving so much, especially since then. I just felt like I’ve become such, such a better wrestler, even since the last time that we wrestled. Seeing that he went out there and got gold just shows me that I can go out there and get gold this year.”

In Paris, Mason Parris will face some of the world’s top wrestlers, including 2x Olympic medalist Geno Petriashvili and Kazakhstan’s Yusup Batirmurzaev, who recently defeated Geno in the semifinals and is equally formidable. Azerbaijan’s Giorgi Meshvilidshvili, who has also beaten Hayden Zilmer like Mason Parris, poses another challenge. Additionally, Belarus’ Dzianis Khramiankou, a two-time Olympian and U23 and U20 World Championships competitor, will be a tough opponent.

Mason Parris’ path to Paris: Ambitions and preparations for Olympic glory

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At the 2023 World Wrestling Championships, Mason Parris faced Geno Petriashvili in the semifinals but was defeated 8-6. Parris held leads of 4-1 and 6-3 during the match and managed to tie 6-6 with about 45 seconds remaining. However, a late counter-takedown resulted in his defeat. Despite this loss, he did defeat Batirmurzaev, who had previously defeated Geno Petriashvili. Parris spoke about the win saying, “It wsas just an opportunity for me to kind of tune myself up two months out from Paris and just kind of figure it out and figure out the stuff that I wanted to work on. And, you know, luckily for me, it was a really great confidence boost for me and helps me bring a lot of momentum to Paris and know that I’m training and doing the right things.” 

Even before his recent achievements, Parris had a wealth of accolades to fall back on. He won the 2019 World Junior Wrestling Championships and the 2023 NCAA DI national championship. That same year, he was awarded the prestigious Dan Hodge Trophy. Additionally, he secured consecutive gold medals at the Pan American Games in 2023 and 2024. Mason is coached by Cliff Keen Club in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan and trains under two-time Mr. Michigan and bodybuilder Amir Rad at the Thrive training facility in Ann Arbor. His training regimen focuses on strength and conditioning exercises to enhance strength and flexibility. Parris’s inclusion among elite wrestlers has the potential to shift power dynamics in the Olympics, and hopes are high for him to bring home the gold medal in the 125 kg category.