Now a member of the Tascosa Hall of Fame, Brandon Slay's journey hasn't been easy. Slay had to learn tough lessons at an early age about a sport he would grow to love and become a champion.
"That was my first year as a six year old with a bunch of kids, it was a rough start, I got pinned over and over again, taken down over and over," said former Olympian Brandon Slay.
But it was his relationship with those younger wrestlers that kept him going.
"These friendships are priceless, they still last, 20 plus years later, I still have great friendships and bonds with those guys," said Slay.
That motivation drove him to continue his wrestling at the Y.M.C.A and the Maverick Club, eventually becoming one of the top wrestlers in the state while at Tascosa High School.
"We started at that period of time building a legacy for Tascosa High School and Tascosa wrestling, and then not too many years after that, producing state champions every single year," said Slay.
"Brandon never stepped out on the mat with anybody that he didn't think he was going to win that match," said Johnny Cobb, Slay's former wrestling coach at Tascosa.
After a successful career at Penn University, Slay won the National Championships, giving him the opportunity to represent the United State in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
"To get a chance to not only represent Amarillo, represent Tascosa High School, represent the state of Texas but to represent the United States of America, that was just an honor to represent our country," said Slay.
Slay won his first four matches before facing Germany's Alexander Leipold for the gold medal, but unfortunately things didn't go his way, and Brandon settled for silver. Soon after, he got a call from the Olympic Committee that would change his life.
"I thought I was dreaming a little bit," said Slay.
Leipold had tested positive for two anabolic steroids, thus giving Slay the gold medal. He was awarded the medal on the Today Show.
"That was really special to have my family there and friends to go up there and that morning there were 6.4 million people watching that," said Slay.
Slay now teaches future wrestlers at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado and continues to inspire them to keep pushing forward.
"To help guys to prepare to become world champions, Olympic champions and see the joy on their face when they reach that goal is priceless," said Slay.
"He's got that gold around his neck but he's golden off the mat too," said Cobb.
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