Provisor set to make second Olympic appearance
Point native Ben Provisor will look to bring back a Gold Medal when he competes
in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio next week.
26-year old former Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) standout secured
his second consecutive Olympic berth when he won the 85kg (187-pound) weight
class at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa,
returned home last week for the “Big Ben Olympic Send-Off” at Rookies Sports
Pub Thursday, July 28, where he signed autographs and visited with supporters,
before he is set to wrestle at the Olympics Monday, Aug. 15.
not an opportunity everybody gets,” said Provisor of making the Olympics a
second time. “I know that I need to take advantage of it, and I’m going to.
been working my butt off to do the best I can at the Games, so hopefully I can
come home with a medal around my neck,” he said.
2009 graduate of SPASH, Provisor began competing in Greco-Roman Wrestling in
grade school under the direction of Dennis Hall of Plover, a three-time U.S.
Olympian and 1996 Silver Medalist who runs camps and training sessions through
his World Gold Wrestling.
is everything to my wrestling career,” said Provisor. “And my parents (Dennis
and Tammy) are too.
shipped me around everywhere, drove me everywhere, let me fly to Bulgaria (in
high school) and stay for six months,” he said. “I’ve lived a crazy, traveling
life for wrestling.
it’s all been for this purpose,” he said. “God put these people in my life, so
I can hopefully achieve these goals in Rio.”
high school, Provisor attended the Northern Michigan University Olympic
Training Site and then moved to the United States Olympic Training Center in
Colorado Springs, Colo., where he has spent the last six years.
won the 2011 World Championship Title and then won the 74kg weight class at the
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to advance to the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.
his first Olympic Games, Provisor won his opening match 0-3, 1-0, 1-0 over
Alexei Bell of Cuba, but then was eliminated with a 1-0, 6-0 loss to Zurab
Datunashvili of Georgia.
the London Olympics, he won the 2013 U.S. Open, while he battled a number of
injuries that required surgery and was unable to make the U.S. World
Championships team in each of the next three years.
also married 2015 Women’s USA World Team wrestler Leigh Jaynes and had a
daughter, Evelyn, who is now 3 years old.
last three years have been challenging for me,” said Provisor. “I’ve had so
many ups and downs, with injuries, with having my little baby girl, having
relationship issues; everything’s been a whirlwind.
the Olympic Team Trials, I promised myself that I would really concentrate on
my craft, which is wrestling,” he said. “And I know God put me here to do that,
and I really just concentrate on those things and concentrate on trying to
provide for my daughter.”
returned home to Stevens Point for three weeks before the Olympic Team Trials
in April to train with Hall, and moved up to the 85kg weight class, where he entered
as the fourth-ranked wrestler in the bracket.
qualify, it was definitely a tough road,” said Provisor. “I probably had the
toughest road of anybody.
had World Team member after World Team member after World Team member, but I
felt like I was meant to be there,” he said. “I felt like I was meant to win.”
opened in the quarterfinals against fifth-ranked Patrick Martinez, the 2015
U.S. World Team member at 80gk, and won 4-1 to advance to the semifinals.
he faced top-ranked Jordan Holm, who was a member of the last three U.S. World
Teams in his weight class, won three straight U.S. Open Titles and won the Gold
Medal at the 2016 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier.
scored on a reversal and a takedown to pull out a 3-0 win over Holm and advance
to the best-of-three finals.
couldn’t believe my eyes; that he beat the No. 1 guy that has not been beaten
in the last 100 matches,” said Dennis Provisor. “And he just walked right
one thought he could be beat, so we were all in shock,” he said.
Holm had made the last three World Teams, hadn’t lost in the U.S. in the last
three years, and on that day, I was better than him,” said Provisor. “On a different
day, maybe it would’ve been him, but luckily I was able to win.”
the finals, Provisor took on third-ranked Jacob Clark, who beat Provisor in the
finals of the 2016 U.S. Open in December.
a trip to Rio on the line, Provisor won the first match 3-0, and then won by
fall over Clark in 2:30 in Round 2 to earn his second consecutive Olympic
was an amazing feeling,” said Provisor. “It was a big relief when I made this
team, and it was very fulfilling.”
was amazing that he made it,” said Dennis Provisor. “He was injured, and then
he was in first place, and then was injured, and no one really thought he was
going to make it back the second time.
kind of counted him out,” he said. “Somehow he got back in shape, by a miracle,
and just walked through everybody.
was unbelievable,” he said. “I can’t be more proud of him; he’s just an amazing
the Olympics, the Greco-Roman Wrestling competition for the 85kg weight class will
take place on the 10th day of the Games Monday, Aug. 15, starting with the qualifying
round at 8 a.m. Central.
quarterfinals are set to follow at 8:30 a.m., with the semifinals at 9:40 a.m.
and the Gold Medal Match at 3:30 p.m.
a blind draw, so I’ll get a draw that day once I weigh in, and then we’ll see,”
said Provisor. “The top five guys from the last World Championships are going
to be there, and then all the guys that qualified at their European Games and
Pan Am Games.
going to have 19 other guys trying to win a Gold Medal,” he said. “I’ve got to
take one match at a time, and hopefully I can win.”
a large contingent of family and friends was able to make the drive to Iowa for
the Olympic Team Trials, the “Big Ben Olympic Send-Off” was held at Rookies
last Thursday to help raise money to send family members to watch him wrestle
Spicy Tie Band performed during the event, while Provisor autographed posters
and T-shirts that were for sale, posed for pictures with partygoers and visited
with people who stopped by to wish him good luck at the Olympics.
great to have all of our friends and family out here,” said Dennis Provisor.
“It’s a great moment for me, but my wife’s been behind him his whole career,
since he was seven years old, getting him to every wrestling match and getting
him all of the trainers.
put in the work, but she was there every minute, like she’s there tonight, so
I’m very proud of her too,” he said. “It’s a fun night, and we’re really
excited about it.”
just happy to be able to come and have a party for people in my hometown that
have supported me my whole life,” said Provisor. “I grew up here, trained here
my whole life.
high school football here, wrestled here, and it’s just an awesome atmosphere
to come home to,” he said.
also thanked the community for all of its support, and as he heads into his
second Olympic appearance, he said the goal is to win a Gold Medal.
time this isn’t a shock making the Olympic team,” said Provisor. “I’ve put in
the hours and put in the work to be prepared.
ready to go win a Gold Medal,” he said.
Olympic Men’s 85kg Greco-Roman Wrestling Schedule (all times Central)
Round, 8 a.m.
Round 1 (wrestlebacks), 2 p.m.
Round 2, 2:30 p.m.
Medal Match, 3 p.m.
Medal Match, 3:30 p.m.