While members of the Oklahoma State football team are used to being on the receiving end of chants from fans, the shoe was on the other foot last week when former OSU wrestler and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott stopped by to watch the team practice.
With members of the team noticing the latest OSU Olympian walking onto the practice field next to Boone Pickens Stadium, Scott was welcomed with a chant of “USA! USA! USA!” from the Cowboy football players.
“It was good. I have a lot of respect for Olympians, especially guys who wrestle and the things they go through just to get to that point — and then to be able to win a bronze medal,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “He loves football, so it was good to have him. He’s a special guy.
“He’s young enough to train and come back and should have a really good chance to win in Rio.”
Scott, who had been told by his former college coach and professional coach John Smith to take his medal with him wherever he goes, met with the OSU team and gave players the chance to handle the historic hardware for themselves.
Scott even stopped to pose for a picture with Gundy, who couldn’t help but grab hold of the bronze medal for the picture.
“It’s pretty cool. When you think about what the Olympics stand for and it’s essentially our country, and I have seen a number of them with John and Kenny (Monday) and those guys who have been around here,” Gundy said. “But they are each unique in their own way. And those, I think they said, are the biggest (medals) of any of the Olympics as far as circumference. So it’s pretty neat.”
For sixth-year senior offensive lineman Johnathan Rush, the moment was special for him because he could remember watching Scott when he was still wrestling with the Cowboys.
“He was wrestling when I first got here — I don’t know if a lot of guys can say that here,” Rush said. “But to see him win a medal was awesome.”
However, one Cowboy missed out on the opportunity to hold the bronze medal.
“I didn’t get to hold or see the medal,” senior defensive end Cooper Bassett said. “I was real fortunate this summer to intern in the Gallagher-Iba weight room, so I got to be around Coleman as he trained for the Olympics a little bit. That was an awesome experience and I think I got a friendship out of it.
“... Maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll bring it around again so I can see it. I’ll have to hit him up on Twitter and see if he’ll bring back the bronze medal to see if I can see it.”
For several of the football players, it was hard to grasp the magnitude of getting to hold an Olympic medal.
“You never really understand what that means until you’re older and stuff like that,” receiver Tracy Moore said. “It’s a medal, which I have hundreds of them from little tournaments and stuff like that. But the Olympics is another level. So it’s just crazy to think about.”
While the visit was special for players, Rush felt a deeper meaning with Scott’s winning a medal in his first attempt at a World title.
“It’s kind of crazy to see somebody who went to OSU and went through athletics with us to reach such a high accomplishment,” Rush said. “Third best in the Olympics? That’s third-best in the whole world. For him to be able to do that coming out of here, kind of makes you feel like the sky’s the limit.”