Seventeen-year-old Colin Valdiviez has recently returned home from his first international wrestling tournament where he took home two gold medals.

Valdiviez was part of a ten-man team representing the United States at the Pan American Cadet Championship in Lima, Peru. All together, the team took home five golds, two silvers, two bronzes, and the Freestyle team title.

Valdiviez was one of two team members to claim the title of dual-champion, earning gold in both the Greco-Roman and Freestyle tournaments. He dominated Greco-Roman and the preliminaries for Freestyle. The final match for the Freestyle gold was the closest one of the day with Valdiviez winning 4-4. Scoring last, Valdiviez received the win.

“I’ve gained a lot of wrestling experience and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my limitations and about what I can do and I think it’s going to help me succeed in the future,” Valdiviez said.

The Rockhurst High School student has been wrestling ever since his dad took him to his first practice at Lee’s Summit North High School when he was five years old.

“He’s probably been the biggest influence in my life for wrestling and I thank him a lot for that,” Valdiviez said.

Valdiviez would also like to thank his mom and twin brother.

“My mom has always been there, she’s always been supportive,” Valdiviez said. “And my twin brother’s always been able to help me on and off the mat, just making me better and always pushing me to be better.”

“I’d like to thank Jason Keck, who is my club coach, he’s been with me since I was about 14, so he’s always pushed me to be better, to succeed,” Valdiviez said.

Currently training at Greater Height’s Wrestling Club out of Park Hill High School, this wrestler’s next focus (after taking a short break) is the upcoming State Championship.