Local Olympic wrestler: 'My whole town’s behind me'

Local Olympic wrestler: 'My whole town’s behind me'

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:34 AM

LONDON -- London has been the stage for many great accomplishments from local athletes.  This week our eyes won’t be glued to the pool, but instead on other sports where our local athletes shine.

Dremiel Byers is one of those to watch.  He’s a Greco Roman Wrestler from Kings Mountain who came up short in Beijing.  But here in London, he’s determined to bring home a gold medal.

In a place where security is already intense, the muscle has arrived at the Olympic Games.

"Usually I'm my own security,” Byers said.  “All these guys should feel safe because I'm here."

At 280 pounds, he walks tall and sometimes likes to joke around.  But when it comes to wrestling, it’s all business.

“This is so important to me right now,” said Byers. “It always has been, but I’m so close to it that I can’t let anything get in the way of it.  I promised my grandfather an Olympic gold medal.  He passed away a few years ago and that’s a sore on my heart.  It’s just there that I didn’t let him see that.  I know he’s looking down on me, but after he passed, I realized I have a lot of family that wants to see it happen.  I have a lot of friends that want to see it happen.  My whole town’s behind me.”

Dremiel grew up in Kings Mountain.  A place he loves dearly.  He got the nickname “Bam Bam” growing up.

"My grandmother gave me the name when I was a baby.  The story I heard was my favorite toy was a one-pound weight,” Byers said.

Today, he’s 37 and still in the weight room, not ready to give up his dream of bringing home Olympic gold.

He also serves in the U.S. Army as part of their world class athlete training program.

"I think wrestling will let it know when it's done with you," he said.

This is likely the last shot for Byers.  He’s set to compete in the ring Monday night.
 

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