C.O. female wrestlers heading to South Africa

Bend, La Pine students part of cultural exchange

C.O. wrestlers heading to S. Africa

La Pine, Oregon - A pair of of female high school wrestlers from Central Oregon will be part of a team traveling to South Africa for a special wrestling competition this summer.


The Oregon Cultural Exchange Wrestling Team will compete this summer in July against the South African Wrestling Federation team.


The team is comprised of the top male and female athletes from across Oregon.


This is the first trip in the 50-year history of the program which full female and male teams will compete.


"It is really exciting," Bend High School wrestler Charli Stewart said Sunday. "I think the girls team has escalated so quickly, and we've had so many opportunities that have been presented to us after just starting in seventh grade, for me at least. It's really exciting." 


For another student, the competition becomes more personal, as she will be following in the footsteps of family members.


La Pine High School wrestler Olivia Flack said, "My grandpa was actually on the first cultural exchange team ever. He went to Japan, and then later, my uncle went to Egypt. Then after that, my dad went back to Japan on the same cultural exhange trip that we are going on today, as the first girls team to ever be going." 


The competition takes place on a three-week trip to South Africa, July 24 through Aug.15. 


The team has partnered with DeFeet International, an organization that makes socks for professional athletes all over the world. The students created customized socks and are selling them via the company website. All proceeds will go to the students. 

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