Back to Sports Corner In Pursuit of an Olympic Dream


In Pursuit of an Olympic Dream

Travis Pascoe and wrestling often appear in the same sentence. As a high school wrestler, Travis compiled a 138-8 career mark and won three state championships at 189 pounds. He attended Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, WA and was named high school All-American. He continued his success at the University of Nebraska amassing 101 wins placing him 13th on the schools all-time win list from 2002-2005. He majored in biological sciences at Nebraska.

Travis has not stopped there. He has been continuing his career by training for the upcoming world championships and Olympic Trials, where he hopes to land on the US Olympic Wrestling team competing in Beijing August 8-24, 2006 summer games. Many of the nation's top Olympic-caliber wrestlers are in serious training at the training center in Colorado Springs, CO. Over 110 athletes hand picked are getting specialized instructions to increase their chances of making the Olympic team.

Based on Travis' accomplishments one would think a stud wrestler in high school and college would have the world at his hands. Something happened along the way made Travis's pursuit of success much more difficult. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two months before his 16th birthday. He was ready to become a licensed driver but found little things like going to the movies and stopping at the local Dairy Queen for ice cream more challenging now that he had diabetes. In the middle of his high school wrestling career he did not know of any athletes who had diabetes so he felt alone in his quest for success.

A typical wrestling practice consisted of a 10-15 minutes warm-up, about 45-60 minutes of drills and then around 20-40 minutes of hard wrestling. Practice was a little bit more difficult to deal with then a wrestling match because of the time but Travis strives to have his blood sugar around 130 mg/dl to start practice and have some Gatorade on the side of the mat in case he needs some sugar. He has never had to stop wrestling in a match due to a low blood sugar but he has felt low after the match was over and had to get some sugar in a hurry to prevent a fast crash in his blood sugar.

Wrestlers often have to cut weight in order to wrestle in a particular weight class. Using insulin and restricting calories can be a major challenge for anyone with diabetes let alone a world class athlete. Travis has been lucky and has not has to lose very much weight to make a particular weight class. His diet is very general in that he eats all three meals and snacks in between meals. When he is not training for a period of time he eats much less then he does when he is training because he is not burning as many calories in a day. He will also use meal replacement shakes as part of his diet. On the day of a match, Travis may check his blood sugar as many as 20 or 25 times. It can be difficult to keep blood sugars in a good range due to the time of a match and down time between matches in a single day.

Travis was recently a recipient of the 2006 (DESA) Diabetes, Exercise, and Sports Association Athletic Achievement Award. He accepted is award at the International Diabetes, Exercise, and Sports Association conference in Arnhem, Holland September 7-9, 2006. The award acknowledges outstanding athletes who have fulfilled their athletic pursuits in an excellent manner. The objective of the award is to encourage others with diabetes to also follow their dreams. The winners are selected to represent the goals of DESA by serving as role models.

Since Travis lacked a role model with diabetes growing up he wants to tell his story in hopes of inspiring others who may need the extra motivation to reach their athletic goals.

Rick Philbin, MBA, M.Ed., ATC

November 2006

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Last Updated: Friday September 07, 2012 11:14:42
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