Olympic hopefuls inspire Camp Rainbow Gold campers

Posted at 8:28 PM, Feb 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-10 22:28:18-05

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo may be a ways out, but the athletes never stop training. The U.S.A Greco-Roman Wrestling team and the Serbian National Team are spending a week training in the City of Trees.

"I'm trying to bounce back and be resilient and make the Tokyo team," said U.S.A. National Wrestling Team member Ellis Coleman.  

The teams aren't only focusing on their form and technique, but also taking time to meet some of their fans who are also fighting: kids from Camp Rainbow Gold battling cancer and others fighting adversity.

"We are fighting to win on the mat, and they are fighting in life, so I think they almost have the same struggle that we have," Viktor Nemeš of the Serbian National Team and 2017 World Champion said.  

Treasure Valley teen Collin Steppe suffered a brain tumor five years ago, impacting his motor skills, but that obstacle hasn't stopped him from wrestling. For him, meeting these world-class athletes was a dream come true.

"I was a little nervous cause I've never really been around people this inspirational before," Steppe said. 

Ellis Coleman, the youngest American athlete during the London Olympic Games who failed to qualify for Rio, says he's keeping his eyes on gold and tells people like Collin to never give up, becoming inspired in the process.  

"You have a great story behind you, you have a reason to keep fighting and you have a reason to do what you want to do," Coleman told Steppe. "Share that story cause you're going to help somebody in a similar situation."

You can watch the two national teams square off in a friendly match on Sunday at Bishop Kelly High  School at 3:00 p.m.