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Zadick and Smith return to Great Falls to assist wrestlers - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Zadick and Smith return to Great Falls to assist wrestlers

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GREAT FALLS -

If there's anyone who appreciates the Treasure State, it's two-time Olympic Champion John Smith.

"Well, it’s Montana, one. Montana’s beautiful. Any chance you get to come to Montana you’ve got to come."

And so, the current Oklahoma State Head Wrestling Coach came.

Who brought him here? It was none other than one of the other top wrestling coaches in the nation and Great Falls native, Bill Zadick.

"I just have a lot of respect for the Zadick’s," said the four time world champion. "I know what they’re trying to create here and they’re trying to make a difference in Montana wrestlers."

Zadick, who was recently promoted to become the head coach of the USA Senior Freestyle wresting team once the Olympics concludes, runs the camp with his brother Mike, who is also a renowned Great Falls wrestler.

"It was an opportunity to give back to the sport I love in my home. I’m very proud of being from Montana," said Bill. "For a large state with a low population, we’ve always had a high quality of wrestling in the State. I just wanted to do something to give back and continue building our sport."

The world champion stresses that that building is particularly important this time of year.

"At this level, it’s vital. These kids, by doing this summer wrestling... They’re really providing themselves with a future and opportunities to be identified by college coaches."

The Zadicks' and Smith's help certainly isn’t lost on local wrestlers.

"They teach you a lot about the sport. More than just wrestling," said Great Falls High junior Jordan Komac. "They teach you how to mentally prepare for things and how to be tough. How to push yourself and if you really want it or not."

"It’s pretty cool to realize that I’m training with the same coaches that the Olympians are," said Lewistown junior Caleb Birdwell.

As for the coaches? They recognize the importance of the campers as well.

"Some of these kids will win state championships. Some of them will go on to college. Maybe some of them will be a world or Olympic champion," said Smith. "I believe it starts at places like this and camps like this."

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