A fund has been established for former University of Wyoming wrestler Michael Martinez, severely burned in a recent fire at his home, the Laramie-based school announced Monday.
The fund, established to assist the three-time conference champ and four-time NCAA Division I championships qualifier, is intended to help defray medical expenses, as Martinez does not have insurance. Donations to the fund may be made online via the website MichaelMartinezFund.com, or by visiting any Wells Fargo Bank in the U.S. and contributing to the “Michael Martinez Fund.”
Martinez, who graduated from Wyoming in 2012, suffered second- and third-degree burns over 80% of his body in a fire that resulted from a propane gas explosion in the camper where he lived. After putting out the flames, he drove himself to a local hospital, then was flown to Albuquerque, N.M. for treatment. After three weeks in the hospital’s burn center, Martinez was released to recover at home in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
Martinez was a standout wrestler for the Cowboys, competing at 125 and 133 pounds. The Colorado native won three straight Western Wrestling Conference (WWC) titles from 2009 to 2011, and qualified to compete at the NCAAs four consecutive years, from 2009 through 2012. During the 2007-2008 season, Martinez took an Olympic redshirt to attempt to make the U.S. freestyle team competing in Beijing, taking up residence at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Martinez completed his collegiate mat career at Wyoming with 116 victories, placing him ninth on the Cowboys’ all-time wins list.
Prior to enrolling at the University of Wyoming, Martinez was a two-time Colorado state champ for Pagosa Springs High School.
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