Springfield wrestler to represent Puerto Rico at 2024 Olympics

Springfield wrestler Jonathan Viruet’s fight to make it to the Olympics continues.
Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 2:11 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Springfield wrestler Jonathan Viruet’s fight to make it to the Olympics continues. Now, he’s headed to Paris after a qualifying fight in Puerto Rico

Soon-to-be Olympian Viruet is heading to Paris in 2024 as a member of Puerto Rico’s national team. He earned his spot after fierce competition in the U.S. territory last month.

“I’m at the point of marking it down as another accomplishment in my book, chapter to the story, but it’s not the end of the story,” Viruet said.

He told Western Mass News about this latest chapter on his journey to Olympic gold.

LEARN MORE: Local wrestler prepares to compete for Olympic bid

“It took me a little bit of time to kind of accept it, if you will. You know, an hour or two afterwards, I started to feel it a little bit and I honestly wanted to cry,” Viruet added.

Even when that competition got rough, it was the Springfield support that got him through and when it was all said and done, he told us who he wanted to see first.

“My father. I don’t give him the flowers he deserves or the credit he deserves. I think he’s done a lot, not just for myself, but for the community and those that have been around me in my journey,” Viruet explained.

However, it was much more than those fatherly feelings that Viruet is thankful for. It’s also the discipline dad gave him to keep going.

“Being a father figure, a role model, you know, a leader, all of those things, maybe those innate qualities you guys see within myself, are instilled by my father,” Viruet noted.

As he prepares for his big Olympic open in France next year, his mind is on the medal, just like he told us in September, but that’s not all.

“Do my best, try to come home with a gold medal, and if can’t, come home with silver, and if it’s not silver, it better be bronze ‘cause we’re not going home to lose. We’re out there to win,” Viruet said in September.

On Thursday, he noted, “I do think again, the thing I spoke on last time, which was mental, physical, and spiritual. I think I have to keep that balance as well, understand what got me to this point and continue those processes, and understand myself even further.”

Before Viruet gets to Paris, he has to head to Chile in November and Mexico City in January for a couple or more competitions, but he’s excited about Paris in 2024.