Be A Champion in Life – Richard Jensen

Published On January 23, 2017 | By Stephen Stonebraker | College, High school, Olympic

Today Richard Jensen’s life is a positive one full of happiness and achievement. It wasn’t always that way. There was a long period of time, where Jensen’s life was full of hardship and poor choices. He led an existence of abusing methamphetamines, which put him in and out of jail for years. When Jensen’s mom fell ill, he was in prison and was not able to spend time with her as she passed away. It was then that he decided to change his life around. It was then he decided that he was going to step out of the darkness and into the light.

Jensen looked back on his life to a happier time and questioned what he had in his life then that he didn’t have now. The answer was wrestling. At the age of 36, Jensen enrolled at Clackamas community college and walked onto the wrestling team. At the age of 37, in his second year, Jensen finished in second place at the regional qualifier and became an NJCAA national tournament participant at 184 lbs.  ESPN produced a documentary on Jensen’s story called, Getting off the Mat, which won the 2009 National Sports Emmy.

Since then, Jensen has dedicated his life to sharing his story with others. He wants kids, as well as adults to know the dangers of abusing drugs. He wants others to know the power of making positive choices.

“It’s never too late.” Jensen told Takedown Wrestle in a recent interview. It is his belief that no matter how bad your life is and no matter how long your life has been bad, that it can get better. You can become a success.  He’s not just talk either. He leads through example. Not only did he qualify for the NJCAA tournament at almost 40 years old, he also won the 2016 Freestyle national title in the Master’s Division last season.

Jensen’s message is one for a variety of ages. He’ll speak at middle schools and high schools as well as colleges and universities. Prices ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 Jensen will come in show Getting off the Mat, give a motivational speech and then have discussion as well as focus groups with a question and answer. If the school has a wrestling program, Jensen will also attend a practice speaking with the team about the importance of wrestling and the positive impact that it has on your life.

“I’m overwhelmed by the effectiveness I have with kids.” Jensen commented when asked how his seminars have went thus far. In February, he will be speaking at Lock Haven University and he will be attending an Anti-Drug expo in New York, during their high school state championships.

“I feel my story can help people. I feel it can make a real difference in their lives.” Jensen answered when asked why a school would want him to come speak.

For more information Jensen, his story and how to contact him to come and speak at your school visit




About The Author

I’ve been a huge fan of wrestling ever since I first got involved with the sport back in 1991. It has impacted and inspired my life in a variety of different ways and I feel very privileged and honored to work with such a talented group of fantastic individuals at to help promote and publicize the sport.