OTT: Rau fights for his soul and is rewarded with the Olympic dream

STATE COLLEGE, PA • Joe Rau was on a comeback that saw him win the Olympic Team Trials in 2016, only to not qualify the weight; qualify the weight for 2021, and then lose in the Trials; and now, after being on all possible ends, he will head to Paris, where the weight has already been qualified, and finally be granted the title: Olympian.

In his Challenge Tournament, Rau would only have two bouts, and he handled them just as he and everyone thought he might—he dominated. He has an opening round 7-0 decision over Brandon Marshall of BGWC, and then advanced to the best-of-three finals with a 5-1 decision over David Orndorff of OH RTC/TMWC.  

For his final’s competition, Rau would have a mountain to climb, and that mountain was named Alan Vera. Alan Vera, the man who qualified the weight at the Pan-Am Games. Alan Vera, the current World Team member. Alan Vera, the wrestler Rau has never defeated. Alan Vera, the man Rau calls his friend and loves dearly, and would have to go through to achieve his dreams. 

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