The most memorable performance in March may belong to a basketball player such as BYU's Jimmer Fredette, but the most important performance this month goes to Arizona State's Anthony Robles.
The Sun Devils wrestler was born without a right leg, and yet he still won the 125-lb. class Saturday at the Division I NCAA championships in Philadelphia. After clinching the title against Iowa sophomore Matt McDonough, Robles received a standing ovation and then stood on the winner's podium with his crutches, which sat and waited for him by the mat while he wrestled.
He finished 36-0 as a senior.
Robles' story is even more remarkable considering how difficult it was for him to even get a scholarship. He didn't start wrestling until age 14, and his weight class, 125-lbs., is the lightest in the NCAA. Because of his missing leg, he had to compete at weights even lower than that, and ASU offered a partial scholarship to the Mesa native only after he won a national title as a senior.
Now Robles is going out on top of the wrestling world, and he plans to hang up his singlet and become a motivational speaker.
To be successful at that, he doesn't have to say a word.
Eric Adelson can be reached at email@example.com. Video courtesy of Madelyn Burke.
Man Without Legs Climbs Manitou Incline