World Games provides amazing opportunity for home-state sumo wrestler
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - For a sumo wrestler from Guntersville, American roots run deep.
Andrew Roden’s great-great-great-great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War.
It’s why competing for Team USA is about more than medals.
Roden’s road to the World Games started when he tried out a new sport in sumo wrestling.
“To represent America, in international competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Roden said.
In just a few years, Roden leaned on his American folk wrestling experience to climb the sumo ranks, landing him on his biggest competition stage yet: The World Games.
“Literally giving me goosebumps at times,” Roden said.
Roden fell just short of the medal rounds in the games, but still walks away proud to represent his country, and the host state.
“I’ve had a ton of support from the state of Alabama, every where I go people are coming up to me,” Roden said.
Roden’s best memories of the games involve meeting the fans... one little guy in particular.
“And he wanted to come watch sumo on his 8th birthday, he got to get a picture with someone from Team USA, that was pretty significant to me,” Roden said.
After going up against the best sumo talent in the world, Roden is ready to train harder.
“If I can compete till I’m 40 that will be awesome, that will be till 2028 and that gives sumo a chance to get into the Olympics,” Roden said.
Right now he travels to other states to train and compete, but Bama’s sumo guy is hopeful The World Games bring the sport a little closer to home for good.
“You know hopefully after this we will have a little bit of a spark in Alabama, and hopefully I’ll have some training partners here now,” Roden said.
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