BEIJING — U.S. freestyle wrestling team captain and medal hopeful Daniel Cormier was withdrawn from his Olympic competition Thursday while in the hospital recovering from complications due to excessive weight cutting.
"For 10 years I've been taking my body where it didn't want to go, going up and down. I guess my body had enough,"
Cormier told his hometown newspaper, The Advertiser of Lafayette, La., in a phone interview from the hospital.
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Cormier, 29, two-time Olympian and a bronze medalist at the 2007 world championships, developed the medical issues in the hours after his official weigh-in Wednesday afternoon. He made weight in the 211.5-pound class.
USA Wrestling said it withdrew Cormier on the advice of doctors.
No replacement wrestler was permitted. On a day when the U.S. freestyle team needed a lift, Cuba's Michel Batista walked onto the mat and had his arm lifted in victory at the time of his scheduled opener with Cormier.
"Up to 8:30 this morning, he (Cormier) called me up and said, 'I'm going to come over and just warm up and see how I feel and go out there and compete,' " said U.S. coach Kevin Jackson.
"I said, 'I think the saying about the doctor knows best is really what you should follow. … Your health is a lot more important than any medal at the Olympics Games or any games.' "
USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body, issued a release saying that after Cormier was treated first by the USOC medical staff at a clinic in the Athletes Village and then taken to a Beijing hospital. Cormier's wife, Robin, and mother, Audrey Cormier Benoit, were with him at the hospital.
William Kuprevich, chief medical officer of the U.S. Olympic team, said Cormier was initially unable to rehydrate by drinking fluids, so he was given intravenous fluids. "When you are dehydrated, kidney function decreases. His condition reflected that," he said.
Might Cormier have kidney damage? "It's too early to interpret," Kuprevich said.
Said Jackson: "It was always a question of his health and what would happen if did put his kidneys under this type of stress, whether it be a warm-up or whether it be a match."
Cormier wrestled in the 185-pound class as a college senior at Oklahoma State.
"It's not a secret that Daniel has struggled with his weight for years prior to this competition
," Jackson said.