A former Arizona State University wrestler who won the prestigious “Jimmy V” Award for Perseverance and was named the Best Male Athlete with a Disability at the 2011 ESPY’s is in Payson this week to guest coach at the Arizona Intensive High Altitude Wrestling Camp.
Anthony Robles, who was born with only one leg but refused to wear a prosthetic leg, removing it at age 3, eventually turned into one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Arizona State history becoming a three-time NCAA All-American, a four-time NCAA qualifier and a three-time Pac-10 conference champion at 125 pounds.
Robles wrapped up his collegiate career in 2011 by winning the NCAA weight class championship and was named the “Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament.”
At ASU, he is ranked eighth in wins (122) and 10th in dual wins (53). He went 36-0 during his final year at ASU compiling a career record of 122-23.
In 2012, Robles was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and received the Medal of Courage, given annually to a wrester who has overcome insurmountable challenges.
On Sept. 12, 2012, Robles made a guest appearance the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno to promote his book, “Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion.”
He has also made appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” and “The Montel Williams Show” and has been honored at Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals games.
Robles began wrestling in eighth grade in Mesa and two years earlier had set a push up record at his elementary school.
As a freshman at Mesa High, he compiled a 5-8 record but after intensive training, he improved enough his sophomore season to be ranked sixth in the state.
As a junior and senior, he won two state wrestling championships finishing 96-0. Robles also won a national championship as a senior wrapping up his prep career with a 129-5 record.
In addition to working as an assistant coach at ASU and writing a book, Robles has become a motivational speaker.