When the 52-year-old from Michigan tries to make the US Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team at this weekend’s trials in Iowa City, he’ll be chasing no small achievement. The oldest US wrestler to medal at an Olympics? Chris Campbell, who took bronze in 1992 at age 37 — 15 years younger than Metzger is today.
But what makes Metzger stand out even more than his age is the event that sparked his comeback: the death of a 72-year-old multimillionaire in a western Pennsylvania prison in 2010.
Anyone who follows wrestling knows the story of John E. du Pont. Not long ago he was the savior of USA Wrestling, the heir to the du Pont chemical fortune who made amateur sports, specifically wrestling, one of his main philanthropies. But in 1996, du Pont, who was schizophrenic, shot and killed Dave Schultz, a champion freestyle wrestler who had won gold in the 1984 Olympics and was one of du Pont’s closest friends. Du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill the following year and died in prison in December 2010.