Andy Hrovat (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)Now the 31-year-old has made the decision to retire from competition.
"I'm retiring from wrestling," Hrovat told Flowrestling.com's Mark Bader via Skype. "I'm going to start a new phase of my life, take on the whole coaching role and make the transition."
Hrovat, who wrestled collegiately at the University of Michigan, made his first U.S. World Team in 2006 at 84 kilos. Two years later, Hrovat represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Hrovat has battled injuries and disappointments over the past two years. Last year he failed to make the U.S. National Team for the first time in five years. This year he failed to place at the U.S. Open and U.S. World Team Trials.
Hrovat was coached by Overtime founder Sean Bormet, who recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Michigan.
"I knew if something didn't go well at the Trials that I would have to reevaluate everything," said Hrovat. "I talked to Sean the night after the Trials. He basically told me the same thing ... just to evaluate what's going, how everything is going, and what my motivation is. It was never really the lack of motivation or the want to wrestle. I want to win. I want to win a World title. I want to win an Olympic title. But you never know when your body is just going to give out on you."
Andy Hrovat battles Quentin Wright in the first round of the 2011 U.S. World Team Trials in Oklahoma City, Okla. (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)Hrovat spent nine months training in Russia this past season. He wrestled in six tournaments in Russia.
"It was great," said Hrovat of being in Russia. "I love the fact that I was able to go over there. I had a blast with the training, meeting the new people, trying to learn the language as much as I could, and just being in a different environment. Of course, I knew it was going to help me in my future, just being there around some of the best wrestlers in the world. You're going to learn something. You're going to learn how to train people. You're going to learn certain techniques. You're going to learn strategies. I took everything away from it."
Hrovat is thankful for all the support he has had along the way.
"I just want to thank everybody who has supported me," said Hrovat. "New York Athletic Club, Michigan, Overtime, USA Wrestling, Flowrestling, Cliff Keen, ASICS, my family, the Churella family. There have been so many good people out there that have helped me. Mike Novogratz, Chael Sonnen helped me a lot with my Russia trips this past year. I just want to thank everybody. It was a good time."