Leslie Turk

Olympic wrestler hospitalized with kidney problems

by Leslie Turk

Life has dealt blow after blow to 29-year-old former Northside High wrestler Daniel Cormier -- the loss of his father when he was 7, a best friend at Oklahoma State killed in a plane crash, the death of his 3-month-old daughter in a car accident. Yesterday it was Cormier's career.

The only returning U.S. freestyle wrestler from the Athens Olympics, Cormier was hospitalized due to dehydration and cramping right after making weight. His kidneys were not fully functioning, and he was forced to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics, where he was scheduled to compete today.

Cormier had a good chance of winning a medal. He was third in the world last year and fourth in the 2004 Olympics, winning both the U.S. nationals and the Olympic trials in Las Vegas.

Cormier also had a favorable bracket, with gold medal favorite Shirvani Muradov of Russia in the opposite bracket. Cormier also did not have to wrestle a qualification bout and would have needed to win only three matches to reach the finals.