Former Bushland Falcon Competing for Spot on U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team


People on the High Plains could watch one of their own compete in the Summer Olympics.

Shelby Morrison thought her wrestling career might be over after the collegiate national championships in February. But as fate would have it, she’s on her way to achieving her longtime dream of competing for the U.S.

Morrison competed for Oklahoma City University at the national championships. The top three finishers would qualify to compete for a spot on the national team and earn a trip to Rio De Janeiro. Morrison finished fourth.

But before saying goodbye to her dream, she got a call that changed everything. She was told the woman who won second place wouldn’t be allowed to compete on the U.S. team because she was from Canada. So with one less person in the running, Morrison would slide into that third qualifying position, meaning her Olympic dream was back on.

“You never know what could happen,” Morrison said. “I think if I stay smart and I don’t get too overwhelmed with the entire thing, you never know. I think I could end up doing pretty well in the tournament.”

“It’s become a reality from just a dream and a long shot, to now we’re like, ‘This is happening, right now,” Misty Connelly, Shelby’s mom, said.

“You know she does,” Schonn Connelly, Shelby’s dad, said. “Watching her grow up wrestling, you know she’s got a really good shot at doing this.”

Morrison was eight years old when she first started wrestling and knew from a young age this is what she wanted.

Even without Olympic decorations, Morrison is a well accomplished athlete. She started competing for Tascosa High School as a freshman where she earned her first state title. She then competed for Bushland High School where she earned three more. Morrison graduated high school undefeated. Her record was 110-0.

She’ll compete on Sunday in Iowa.

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