Local wrestler wins gold in Brazil at Pan American Games

Cody Phippen is an 8th grader at Basehor-Linwood. But unlike most 14 year olds, Cody can call himself a world champion.

“It was pretty fun,” Cody said. “I was a little nervous because it was the finals of a pretty big tournament, but I was ready, and I was confident.”

Earlier this month, Cody was in Brazil for the Pan American Wrestling Championships. He went 3-0 in the freestyle competition and won the gold medal for the 42 kilogram, or 92.5 pound weight class. Cody had to master his craft in order to be the best.

“I learned how to do my guts, and lock ups better than I did before” Cody said.

Cody has brought back more than just a gold medal from his trip to Brazil.

“I just learned how much different things are overseas, and how to wrestle international people.”

He developed his love of wrestling from his dad, Travis. He was a state champion at Santa Fe Trail H.S., and part of a division two national championship team in college at San Francisco State. He’s also Cody’s coach.

“I’m very proud. I mean the big thing the work ethic and the time and energy he puts into the sport, and the time that we get to spend together,” Travis said. “My kid will never grow up saying, ‘well my dad didn’t get to spend time with me’.”.

It wasn’t all success for Cody when he first started wrestling at the age of four.

“His first two years of wrestling, he never won a match,” Travis said. “And I’m not talking about a tournament, I’m saying he didn’t win a single match!”

Cody’s only beginning to scratch the surface of his wrestling career.

“I want to go to a division one college, and then after that I hope to become an Olympic champion,” Cody said.

He’ll now compete in a tournament in Ohio later this month. If he wins, Cody will qualify for the Cadet World Champions in Slovakia coming up in June.

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