ASICS America Corporation recently signed several key wrestlers to their already prestigious list of sponsored wrestlers.

ASICS is proud to announce the re-signing of the beloved Rulon Gardner. Gardner wowed audiences around the world when he publicly retired from his prestigious wrestling career at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens by leaving his ASICS wrestling shoes alone on the mat symbolizing his retirement. Rulon has been on a rollercoaster of highs and lows over the last few years. After his inspiring gold medal win against Russian, Alexander Karelin at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Rulon survived a snowmobiling accident in 2002 that left him stranded in the backcountry of Wyoming, a motorcycle accident near the Olympic Training Center in Colorado in 2004 and a week before the US Championships in 2004 he broke his wrist during a game of basketball. Through all this, Rulon continued his efforts to make it back in shape for the 2004 Olympics and ended his career with an emotional match to take the bronze medal. Gardner’s role with ASICS will be to preside on its Advisory board. ASICS will also pay tribute to Gardner with a specially designed wrestling shoe, “Rulon” which will be available June 1, 2005.

Dremiel Byers has placed in almost every competition in both the US and International markets throughout his successful career in wrestling. An alumni of North Carolina A&T, he is not only a dedicated wrestler but also holds the rank of Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and a member of U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. Byers won the World Championships in 2002 and in the same year placed second at the Pan American Championships. Byers, also a long time friend and foe to Rulon Gardner, placed second behind Gardner in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Byers earned the title of U.S. National Outstanding Wrestler for 2004, and the 2002 U.S. Army Male Athlete of the Year.

Tommy Rowlands, a recent graduate of Ohio State University, was a two-time NCAA Champion (2002 and 2004) for the Buckeyes. The Columbus, Ohio native placed fourth at the 2004 US Olympic Team Trials after finishing in the same spot earlier in the year at US Nationals. Rowlands had a distinguished junior career, winning two Ohio State Championships and the 2000 FILA Junior Nationals in both Greco-Roman and freestyle. In 1999, he was named to ASICS High School All-American first team. He will continue training in Columbus and will compete for the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club.

Jesse Jantzen from Shoreham, NY was the 2004 NCAA Champion at 66kg/ 145.5 pounds for Tim Flynn’s Harvard squad. He placed third at the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Championships after qualifying for the 2001 meet as a freshman. Jantzen put himself into the record books by becoming the first New York prep to win four state wrestling titles. He also won two junior national championships and was named ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year in 2000.