Moon to train at Olympic home

When Tanner Moon first walked into an Alabama Wrestling Club camp, he was a 60-pound middle school scrub. Now, he’s bound for the U.S. Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the 2012 Junior Olympic Training Program.

Moon, a senior at Oak Mountain High School, earned the honor to train with some of the U.S. Olympic wrestlers by finishing second in the freestyle competition at Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. last summer.

“It’s going to be awesome. I think every afternoon we’ll work with the regular people that train there,” Moon said.

Club coach Rod Gaddy said he remembers Moon being terrible when he first saw him, but quickly realized he had a gift that helped him succeed.

“He can absorb instruction and replicate it like that,” said Gaddy, as he snapped his fingers.

Gaddy remembers one day Moon using a very technical move early in his training that he had not taught him yet. Moon had picked up the move from a five-minute demonstration a month earlier, Gaddy said. That absorption is what Moon hopes to use next week in Colorado.

National Greco-Roman Development Coach Ike Armstrong said he expects between 60-70 kids to be at the camp, 30 of those spots locked in by All-Americans from last year’s nationals.

“We’re getting the best kids. What we’re doing is we’re rewarding those kids for their accomplishments,” Armstrong said.

He said a number of Olympians and world champions are expected to be on hand to help give demonstrations. The German and Denmark Greco wrestling teams will also be training at the center next week.