By Chris Kaftan
SOFIA, Bulgaria – Andrew Patterson came to the Deaflympics for one thing: to win a medal.
“And I achieved my dream,” the 18-year-old Patterson said.
Patterson nabbed a bronze in Friday’s 66kg freestyle wrestling competition against Gurbanberdi Charyyev of Turkmenistan with a technical fall.
“I could see that his opponent did not have energy, so I told Andrew to go all out in the first round,” coach Thad Ferguson said.
Patterson reached the third-place match by defeating Uzbekistan’s Abdurakhmon Sattorov in his first match, scoring two 3-point attacks in succession to register the win. Patterson then faced Plamen Donchev of Bulgaria, who tackled and locked Patterson at the legs – a move called a touché. Patterson was forced to submit and accept the defeat.
“Andrew’s one of the youngest wrestlers in the competition, and the fact he medaled means he has a very bright future in international wrestling,” Ferguson said.
“I’m really grateful for my coach [Ferguson] and my club coach Jake Elkins at home for preparing me for this,” Patterson said.
Ariann Martinez wrestles for the U.S. in the 60kg freestyle Saturday at CSKA Stadium.