J'den Cox perseveres despite torn meniscus

4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago September 04, 2016 Sep 4, 2016 Sunday, September 04 2016 Sunday, September 04, 2016 4:03:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
By: Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Missouri wrestler J'den Cox won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics with a torn left meniscus, but he said it was "totally worth it."

He said the suffered the injury in a practice leading up to the NCAA tournament in March - a tournament in which Cox became a 2-time NCAA champion at the 197-pound weight class.

The injury was so bad that Cox said he wasn't sure if he wanted to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Iowa City, Iowa in April. After debating whether to go, Cox eventually decided to give it a go for the Trials.

"I was telling people that I might not go to the Olympic Trials because I knew this was an issue going into the summer," Cox said, referencing his torn meniscus. "We just kind of bucked up and did what we had to do."

Still battling the torn meniscus, Cox won the Olympic Trials tournament, advancing to the 2016 World Olympic Qualifier in Mongolia to try and qualify for the Olympic team.

Not only did Cox qualify for the team, but he also won the tournament, sending him to Rio to compete in the summer games.

After winning his first two matches in Rio, Cox lost in the semi-finals to Selim Yasar of Turkey. While he said he was devastated by the loss, he knew he still had a chance to win a bronze medal for his country. 

"I was training for a gold medal. I don't think we train for anything less," Cox said. "I had already pushed myself to the limit and as far as I could go, and since I didn't get there, I was already prepared to go for what I needed and do what needed to be done."

In the bronze medal match, Cox defeated Cuba's Reineris Salas 3 to 1, getting a takedown in the final 30 seconds of the bout to secure the victory. By winning the bronze medal in the 86 kilogram weight class, Cox became the eighth Mizzou athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

"I tore it even more trying to get that takedown," Cox said of his meniscus. "But it was totally worth it."

Mizzou wrestling coach Brian Smith added, "It's the most memorable moment of my coaching career because the Olympics is the highest level. I knew that was one of his (Cox's) goals, to get to the Olympics. Seeing him win it and fighting through to get that take down was amazing."

Not many people close to Cox knew the extent of his injury. Cox's entire family went to Rio to support him, and even his great uncle, Ross Mutrux, didn't know he was hurt until after Cox won the bronze.

"We knew he had been injured after the (bronze medal) match when he was walking on to the stage to receive his award," Mutrux said. "We could tell he was limping, but we didn't know how bad it was at that point. We didn't know until we got home and he was set to be operated on."

Cox had surgery on the meniscus on Aug. 25 and is taking the next month off to rest and rehab his leg. 

"Having this month off is a blessing in disguise," Cox said. "I don't think it'll hinder any of my performances since I've had a surgery before. I'll be better than what I was before."

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The FBI is investigating after hackers blocked the St. Louis Public Library's server. The... More >>
42 minutes ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 9:34:02 AM CST in News
KINLOCH (AP) — A 17-year-old St. Louis County resident is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the July... More >>
1 hour ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 9:00:02 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who aids breast cancer survivors in the St. Louis area by creating tattoos of... More >>
2 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 8:11:00 AM CST in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City man has been charged in the 2013 death of a 22-year-old man... More >>
3 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:53:22 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – On Friday, president-elect Donald Trump will officially take the oath of office in Washington D.C. for President of... More >>
12 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:58:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new set of regulations on Wednesday that clarifies standards for living... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services Department tracked a decrease in mumps cases reports when MU students... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:42:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri woman was sentenced to two years in prison without parole for selling more than... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:39:07 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY ( AP) — Missouri Democrats are asking Gov. Eric Greitens to support their efforts to force the new... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:23:56 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man was fatally shot just west of Hickey Park. According... More >>
16 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:11:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri Highway Patrol has identified the person at the center of a death investigation north of... More >>
17 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:15:35 PM CST in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 79-year-old man fatally shot the assistant manager of an apartment for... More >>
17 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:53:42 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired incident near Quail Drive Thursday afternoon. According to... More >>
17 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:25:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging Missouri regulations limiting how alcohol producers and... More >>
18 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:50:31 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri senator says the state shouldn't be investing in Russia, and she has filed a... More >>
18 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The man who was the face of Ferguson, Missouri, in the turmoil that followed the 2014... More >>
19 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:47:32 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - New research from the University of Missouri School of Social work called for more attention to advanced directives,... More >>
19 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill prohibiting mandatory union fees in workplaces is moving to the Missouri Senate after winning... More >>
19 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
11am 50°
12pm 51°
1pm 53°
2pm 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
NBC News Special: Inauguration of Donald Trump
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Emerald City
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld