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New Prairie Wrestler Christian Carroll has Olympic aspirations

The 17-year-old has been focused on one thing for a long time.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (WNDU) - New Prairie junior wrestler Christian Carroll is unable to travel for the Pan Am Games in Mexico this week after his passport did not come home to New Carlisle in time for him to make the trip.

“It’s definitely a bummer,” Carroll said. “It definitely would have been a great stepping stone into my career.”

But Carroll is not letting this stop his hard work.

“Now I have to refocus my mind,” Carroll said. “I can’t really dwell on it that long. Gotta move to the next thing and keep my mind focused for the next tournament.”

The 17-year-old has been focused on one thing for a long time.

“I started thinking about being an Olympic champion since three years old,” Carroll said.

At that young age, Carroll started putting in the work to achieve those Olympic dreams.

“I knew that this was the sport for me,” Carroll said. “This is going to be my life. I am going to wrestle. This is what I want to do and I want to win a gold medal.”

While qualifying for the Pan Am games as the only high schooler in his 97 kilogram weight class at the World Trials seems like he is on the right track, Carroll knows there is so much work ahead of him.

“I definitely have a long ways to go,” Carroll said. “Reaching the point was a good stepping stone to get in the finals especially at such a young age. No one was expecting me to do anything. The fact I did that well was just a really good showing like, ‘hey, I can be here. I belong with these guys.’”

Carroll belongs with the high level wrestlers thanks to his mindset on the mat.

“Having a great mind is probably about 90 percent of the match,” Carroll said. “Being confident.”

But that confidence does not result in over excitement for Carroll.

“I like to stay real calm,” Carroll said. “Real relaxed. I don’t like to over hype myself but I don’t like to get not hyped enough where I walk out there and I am not ready to go.”

That mindset is a result of Carroll thinking about his future.

“I am always thinking about the next best thing,” Carroll said. “I know people will say it’s better mindset to live in the present but I have big aspirations, big goals in my career that I want to achieve. I want to reach the highest level in the sport.”

To reach that highest level, Carroll will do whatever he can to make it there.

“I want to be an Olympic champion so the progressions between A and B to get to be an Olympic Champion, I don’t care what it takes,” Carroll said.

There’s even more exciting news for Carroll. Last week, he committed to wrestle at the University of Illinois.

He says Champaign just felt right, and felt like home.

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