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.


 
 

 

Local Briefs July 2, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park. Single Airmen can sign-up beginning July 6. All others may sign-up beginning July 13. Final deadline is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

F-15E Strike Eagle students complete training at D-M

Student pilots from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., have been training here since June 17. Fourteen F-15E Strike Eagles from the 334th Fighter Squadron, as well as pilots and Weapons Systems Officers came to D-M to com...
 
 

D-M’s Fourth of July Celebration

For July 4, D-M is scheduled to hold a few evening events to celebrate the holiday. Shuttles for the fireworks are scheduled to start running at 5:30 p.m. from Heritage Park, the Sonoran Science Academy and Borman Elementary School. Pre-firework events are slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Bama Park featuring live music by...
 

 

Giving life through the Living Donor Program

  As Airmen, it is our responsibility to help each other, as well as our civilian counterparts from day to day. But what if the need was greater than something as simple as a ride to work? What if it was as great as a kidney donation? Located in Sacramento, Calif., The University of California...
 
 

Balancing career, family through career intermission program

  KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) — Being in the U.S. military can be a tough balance between career and family. For some, it comes down to a choice between the two; however, for Katie Evans, a temporarily separated captain and the former 18th Force Support Squadron manpower and personnel flight commander here, it’s about...
 
 

One AWACS lands at D-M for Boneyard Storage

One NATO E-3A AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) departed NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany and landed around 1 p.m. June 23, for storage in the ‘Boneyard’. This is the first ever NATO AWACS to be retired. The decision to retire one E-3A was made by the North Atlantic Council in an effort to modernize the...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>