What would you do as a young man if you had to compete against a girl in a state wrestling match? For Brendan Johnston, a senior at the Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, the simple answer was to forfeit the state tournament and end his wrestling career.
After forfeiting to Jaslyn Gallegos in the first round, he then forfeited to Angel Rios in the third-round consolation match. Gallegos and Rios made history as the first females to place at the tournament.
Citing personal and religious reasons, Johnston said, “It’s so physical . . .physically close. I don’t think that’s really appropriate with a young lady. It’s also very aggressive and I’m not really, I guess, comfortable with that.”
Johnston told the Denver Post, “Wrestling is something we do. It’s not who we are. There are more important things to me than my wrestling, and I’m willing to have those priorities.”
While Johnston might have lost the tournament, he won in terms of standing up for his beliefs. In the end, that’s what matters most.
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