Commentary

December 21, 2012

Dagger Point with Staff Sgt. Ryan Vottero

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


Recently Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s own Staff Sergeant Ryan Vottero, 355th Security Forces Squadron, wrestled for Team USA. Vottero was selected to represent the country and compete in a tournament in Poland.

JS: How did you become part of team USA?

RV: In years past they used to run a trials tournament to make the team, but because FILA, the International Federation of Associated wrestling styles, changed their trials tournament so close to the date of the event in Poland, they did a competition instead. You send in a résumé and say this is what I’ve done in the past, they rack and stack you against other people that put in for it and if they like your résumé, you get picked up for the team

JS: What did you do to build up your résumé?

RV: I wrestled in high school back in Indiana. When I came here, I coached so I stuck around the sport. Then I started wrestling competitively about two years ago.

JS: How long have you been on the team?

RV: This is my first year on the team. I started competing to be on the team in 2009. I won the combatives tournament out in Joint Base Balad, Iraq. I found out that the world team trials were happening in Phoenix in 2009. I went to try and get on the team, but I didn’t do so well. In 2011, I competed at the trials tournament in Las Vegas and ended up placing fourth that year. Placing fourth in team trials put me on the second Team USA this year. For whatever reason, the guy in front of me couldn’t go so they me bumped me from second team to first team.

JS: Do you feel like being on the team helps you with your job at all?

RV: Yes, I would consider myself close to an elite athlete, which is pretty cool to think about. Being in my job, security forces, there are situations when hand to hand combatives could be needed

JS: Were you the only active duty military member on the team?

RV: Yes, I was the only active duty military member.

JS: Is grappling a job or hobby for the other members of the team?

RV: This is definitely a job for most of them. They train 365 days a year. It’s kind of weird when they ask what gym I belong to and I say I don’t, I workout on my own.

JS: Is everyone on Team USA sponsored?

RV: Almost everyone else on the team is sponsored but I’m not and because grappling is not an Olympic sport it’s basically self-funded. The team paid for my uniform and my equipment to say Team USA on it. However, I had to pay for the flight, hotel, food, all the fees and licensing costs.

JS: Is your squadron supportive of you being on the team?

RV: The squadron was supportive, but there were a lot of hoops I had to jump through to be able to go overseas, it was a little chaotic. I had to go to a high-risk activity briefing, foreign country briefing. I had to talk with my commander, my accident rep, and I sat down with my first sergeant. Tech Sgt Rustin King, my flight sergeant, gave an amazing donation. There was also a civilian at the 355th Medical Group that really came through. He told me that a lot of people helped him when he was a young wrestler and he was just returning the favor.

JS: Did you place in the tournament?

RV: I ended up placing 11th, which means I didn’t score any points for my team which is upsetting. Team USA ended up placing third. It was pretty cool to be able to stand on the podium and it was just a great experience overall. It was definitely one of the top five experiences of my life.

JS: How many countries were competing?

RV: There were 34 countries. Everyone tells me I did a great job, you’re eleventh in the world. This is a pretty cool feat to think about however, I know there are 10 people that are better than me that I want to beat. So there’s always next year.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — Failing the Air Force physical training test: my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak person for not...
 
 

Emergency Air Force aid – blessing in disguise

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — During the month of February, plans to have a little fun on a warm Sunday afternoon came to a screeching halt when the front left wheel of my husband’s truck started to come loose. Had we continued driving that day, our trip may have ended in disaster. By the...
 
 

Financial readiness equals mission readiness

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS)  As a long-time military spouse, I have held various jobs – and I know many of you can relate. I served as a military and family life counselor at an Airman and Family Readiness Center and had the privilege of working with fellow military families to create budgets, develop...
 

 

Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — “Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives,” was an operations security propaganda phrase used during World War II which still rings true today. It now goes beyond just buttoning your lips to include “zipping up” your social media sites. Safe web-browsing practices and OPSEC awareness are the best mitigation strategies...
 
 

Bring ‘invisible class’ into view

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — When I was a young boy, my father explained to me that there was dignity in work. He told me to always respect the worker regardless of how thankless or menial their job may appear to be. He said that you never know the burdens a person may be carrying, or...
 
 

Know what love is, what it’s not

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — “If you don’t leave him he’s not going to stop until you’re dead,” my mother said. With sadness in her voice my aunt replied: “I know.” I remember sitting in the backseat of the car as my mother and aunt whispered to each other. While my aunt cried, I looked at...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin