UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Behind the wrestling mat in Istanbul, Turkey, off in a back room, Frank Molinaro couldn't keep his emotions in check.
His Olympic dream shattered during a loss at the last-chance qualifier, there was nothing any coach could say or do, the sting of defeat still fresh in his mind. For 45 minutes the former Penn State All-America honoree, a 2012 NCAA champion whose toughness and scrapping on the mat brought him this far, laid down and cried.
“I was crushed. I was just completely broken,” Molinaro said Monday afternoon in the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex. “I can’t even describe the feeling because I’ve never really felt that before. I’ve always been able to kind of come out in those moments when it mattered and that was the first time that I really kind of fell short.”