Carson Lee has got back on the mat - and back on the podium.
The Flin Flon wrestler earned a silver medal at last weekend’s United World Wrestling (UWW) Pan-American Championships, held this year in Oaxtepec, Mexico. It was Lee’s first international competition in nearly two years and his first competition of any kind in 15 months, but he showed few signs of rust.
Lee began his campaign off with a quick 8-0 win over Deshon O’Skeete from Barbados, advancing after 52 seconds of work. That win moved Lee on to the third round, where he met Mexican entrant Kevin De Leon Trevino. Lee advanced further with a 10-0 victory, getting to the fourth round of the event. There, Lee would face off with Argentine Franco Chialanza, who provided little resistance as Lee won 10-0, punching his ticket to the gold medal final.
There, Lee would face American wrestler Jacob Logan. Both competitors had gone through the entire tournament without giving up a point - Logan had racked up a combined score of 21-0 through three matches, while Lee had 28 points through his three bouts. Lee had also worked fast, taking only 5:35 to dispatch those three opponents.
Ultimately, Logan proved to be too much for Lee - the American won the match with a 9-3 score after a six-minute match, handing Lee the second spot on the podium and a silver medal.
It’s another medal for Carson’s already crowded mantlepiece. The wrestler now has four silver medals at the Pan-Am level - first in 2017 and 2018 at the cadet level and a third in 2019 in his debut at the junior level. The newest medal means Lee has medalled in four consecutive Pan-Am events - 2020 events were cancelled due to COVID-19. Carson has also won a USports Canadian university championship, has a Canada Cup silver medal from 2019 and finished third at the 2018 cadet world championship, among other honours.
The US swept almost every men’s category at this year’s Pan-Ams, with the exception of one category winner from Cuba. Team Wrestling Canada Lutte came up with 10 medals in this year’s Pan-Ams, including Lee’s silver.
The next prize on Lee’s list comes later this summer - the UWW Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia in August. It will be Lee’s last major international competition as a junior before he ages out and joins the senior competition ranks. Lee took part in the 2019 world championships, where he finished 24th.