|Born:||October 26, 1970|
|Hometown:||South Holland, IL|
|Residence:||Colorado Springs, CO|
|Ht: / Wt:||5'11" / 163 lbs|
|Event(s):||Greco-Roman wrestling - 74kg/163 lbs|
Aged and elite
Like a good wine, T.C. Dantzler keeps getting better with age. The 37-year-old will make his Olympic debut in 2008, 12 years after first competing at a U.S. Nationals and eight years after his first Olympic Trials. Dantzler earned the Greco-Roman 74kg/163 lbs berth by defeating Cheney Haight two matches to none in the best-of-three final at the 2008 U.S. Olympic wrestling trials. Danztler finished third at the 2000 Olympic Trials and was denied a chance for the 2004 Games when the U.S. did not qualify his weight class. He will be the second-oldest U.S. Olympic wrestler, one month younger than 1992 bronze medalist Chris Campbell.
Though he never won a high school state title or NCAA championship like many of his peers, Dantzler has been a regular on the U.S. national team. He first competed in the U.S. Nationals in 1996, finishing 5th, and 10 years later finally won his first national title. In between, he placed third six times and runner-up three times. But since that first title in 2006, he has defended in 2007 and 2008. Dantzler has been the U.S.'s 74kg representative at the world championships every year since 2002 (except 2004; Worlds are not held in Olympic years), with his best finish being 5th in 2006. He won bronze at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Change is good
Had the international Greco-Roman rules not changed in 2005 to feature the par terre position (wrestling on the mat), Dantzler says he'd probably be retired by now. He feels par terre, which allows more lifting, better suits his strengths. "I could always lift people and turn people, and I have great defenses to keep people from turning me," he told the Chicago Tribune. "When they made it all wrestling on your feet, I was just slightly above average." His recent results certainly agree with that statement. "The way I feel right now, I'm going to be wrestling until 2012," he added.
Dantzler is the founder, President and CEO of a security company called TC logiQ, which does employee background checks for its clients. His daily routine starts with him getting out of bed at 4:16 a.m., spending 5-7 a.m. in his office, coming home to wake up his family, and then making lunch for his kids before driving his oldest son, Thomas Curtis III, to 2nd grade. He practices from 8-10 a.m. before going back to the office for six hours, then practicing again from 4:30-7:30 p.m., after which he usually returns to the office for another hour or two. "Sleep is overrated," Dantzler told the Chicago Tribune. He earned a degree in economics from Northern Illinois University, where he was a four-time NCAA tournament qualifier (1990-93).
Dantzler, whose full name is Thomas Curtis, and his wife Tanya have two sons (Thomas Curtis III and Tyce Cayden) and a daughter (True Callia). A resident at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Dantzler has lived in Colorado Springs since 1995. His hometown is South Holland, Illinois, where he attended Thornwood High School and was a runner-up in the 1988 state wrestling tournament. Danztler also earned letters in football, baseball and track while at Thornwood.
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