After an impressive summer on the U-23 and international wrestling circuits, Virginia Tech wrestler Cooper Flynn recently announced that he would be using an Olympic Redshirt and pursuing a spot on the U.S. team in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Some clarity at 125 for the Hokies. U23 team member and Poland Open Champ @Flynn1Cooper will take an Olympic RS while All-American Eddie Ventresca will make another run at the podium in Kansas City. There will be some weight shifts next season. @HokiesWrestling https://t.co/MjQb0EU4ud— Robbie Wendell (@coach_wendell) August 23, 2023
So how did Flynn achieve the opportunity to use an Olympic redshirt and pursue a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics? Well here's how it happened.
Flynn (125 lbs), who would be a redshirt sophomore when the upcoming season began, participated in the U23 national wrestling trials with teammate Sam Fisher (184 lbs) back in May, where both were successful.
While Fisher finished fifth in the 86 KG bracket, it was the Tennessee native Flynn, who came out on top in his weight class, taking the 57 KG title, which meant he would represent the United States in future events and have a spot in the Olympic Trials.
Then, Flynn got to go to Warsaw for the Poland Open, where Flynn took gold, taking down Puerto Rican representative and 2017 National Champion Darain Cruz 4-1 on July 30.
On August 23rd, Flynn took to social media to announce he would be utilizing his olympic redshirt in 2023-2024, with hopes of making the Olympic squad for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
Here's Flynn’s full statement:
“After long discussions with my family and coaches, I would like to announce my decision to utilize my Olympic redshirt for the 2023-2024 season. This is not a decision I am taking lightly, but with the confidence of my support system, I am ready to pursue a life-long dream as the chance to compete in Paris nears. I know the task to make the 2024 Olympic team will be difficult, but I am excited for and look forward to the challenge ahead. I am grateful for all the support from Hokie nation and I am excited to represent Virginia Tech and the red, white, and blue!”
Flynn holds a record of 30-9 in his time at Tech, and is the most recent Hokie to utilize his Olympic redshirt, following Mekhi Lewis’ use in 2019-20. This does not change Virginia Tech Wrestling's 2023-24 starting lineup with 2023 All-American Eddie Ventresca set to start once again at 125.