International Wrestling

Five for Friday: The Best of Terry Brands Freestyle

Five for Friday

Some weeks I have an obvious theme in mind as I set about gathering matches for the next Five for Friday. However, sometimes I start out looking for one thing and get sucked into something else. That happened this week as I was watching matches and suddenly found myself pulling up Terry Brands matches over and over again. Few wrestlers in the history of the sport can match Terry’s intensity and it comes through in his competitions, even without the aid of modern HD broadcasts. The story arc of his freestyle years is fascinating as well from the hunt for Olympic gold to making five world teams, but only wrestling at the World Championships three times.  Included here are five of the best Terry Brands matches from his international career that exist on the internet, plus a bonus at the end. Enjoy!

Terry Brands vs. Jesus Wilson, Cuba – 1993 World Championships, Semifinals

In an overheated arena in Canada, Brands battled his way to the semifinals at the 1993 World Championships, his first after wrapping up his college career in 1992.  In a clash with Wilson, who would eventually defect and even represent Team USA later in his career, Terry would be tested in nearly every possible way.

Terry Brands vs. Eric Guerrero – 1999 World Team Trials, Match Two

After the first match in their series took nine minutes and ended 1-0, Brands was out to prove a point in match two against Guerrero. Coming off the disappointment of missing the 1996 Olympic team, missing the 1997 World Championships due to injury after making the team, then missing the next year of competition, Terry needed one more win to make yet another world team. Unfortunately, he would miss the 1999 World Championships due to injury once again.

Terry Brands vs. Guivi Sissauri (CAN), 1995 World Championships Gold Medal Match

With a 1993 world gold in his pocket, Brands misfired at the 1994 World Championships, failing to place.  However, he rebounded to reach the final once again in 1995. There he faced 2001 world champion Guivi Sissauri of Canada who put Terry in a hole then tried desperately to hang on.

Terry Brands vs. Artur Federov (RUS), 1994 World Cup

For many years, individual medals were awarded in each weight class at the World Cup in addition to team awards. Brands won World Cup top honors twice during his career. Here he takes on the Russian in 1994 as Team USA attempts to defend the crown they won in 1993.

Terry Brands vs. Kerry Boumans, 2000 Olympic Trials – Highlights

At this point, Brands had not wrestled at a World Championships or Olympic Games since winning the 1995 gold medal.  With the pain of missing the 1996 Olympic team still spurring him on, he stormed through the challenge tournament, defeating Guerrero again in the finals.  That put him in the best two of three series against 2000 US Open champion Kerry Boumans.

Terry Brands vs. Tom Brands – Swimming

The rivalry between the Brands brothers is the stuff of legend and it extends far beyond the wrestling mat.  The twins went head-to-head in the pool for charity in 2014.

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