Minnesota Training Center
Parents: Todd and Sandi Nelson
Siblings: Evan, Kelli, and Grace Nelson
Hometown: Isanti, Minnesota
High School: Cambridge-Isanti
College: University of Minnesota
Degree: Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering
Professional Association: Administrative Assistant at University of Minnesota Gopher Wrestling
Personal Interests/Hobbies: Golfing and softball
Favorite Music: Country and fellow MTC member Pat Smith on guitar
Favorite Quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Every year, Tony Nelson writes his goals for the upcoming year. So far in his wrestling career, he has been able to check a lot of boxes. In high school, Nelson was a two-time Minnesota state champion. He finished his senior year a national champion in the 215-pound class. In addition to his impressive 141-18 record, Nelson was also recognized as a valuable defensive end and linebacker for the Cambridge-Isanti High School football team, named the 2008 Mississippi Eight Conference Linebacker of the Year.
In college, Nelson chose to focus his athletic talents on wrestling, where he represented the University of Minnesota in a big way. Some of Nelson’s crowning achievements include being a two-time NCAA Heavyweight Champion in the 2012 and 2013 seasons and a three-time finalist in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. Nelson’s overall record of 120-15 in the maroon and gold is an outstanding achievement, but knowing that Nelson was able to accomplish it while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering is all the more stupefying. Nelson graduated from the U of M in May 2014. He is now pivoting to the international stage.
Needless to say the Minnesota Storm is fired up about the skills and talent Nelson brings to the team. When asked how it feels to check that box after a goal has been made, Nelson responds, “it’s really good. It’s rewarding. But, it’s almost, in a way, unsettling, because then you have to make a new, bigger goal.” We can’t wait to see what he writes down next.
High school wrestling highlights:
MSHSL state champion (2009)
MSHSL runner-up (2008)
MSHSL third place (2007)
College wrestling highlights:
2-time NCAA D1 national champion (2012, 2013),
3-time NCAA D1 national finalist (2012, 2013, 2014)
4-time NCAA D1 all American (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Freestyle wrestling highlights:
2015 U.S. Open National Championships All-American (4th)
2015 NYAC Bill Farrell International bronze medalist (New York City)
2015 U.S. Open National Championships All-American (8th)
2015 Dave Schultz Memorial International bronze medalist
2012 University World Team Member
2012 University World Championships (5th)
2009 Freestyle Junior National Champion in Fargo
Donate below to support Tony on his Olympic journey:
The MTC is a division of the Minnesota Wrestling Club which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. No goods or services will be provided by the Minnesota Wrestling Club or its subsidiaries in exchange for any donation received. All donations are 100% tax deductible.