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.


 
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 

 

“Little people like you make Christmas better”

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — “It’s little people that make the difference. Little people like you.” The fictional character Frank Shirley pitched his “little people” Christmas message to Clark Griswold in the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation.” Although demeaning in a comical way, the little people reference is seen over and over in classic Christmas stories. Litt...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 




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