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Franklin Gómez Matos (born August 5, 1986) is a Dominican born freestyle wrestler who represents Puerto Rico.

Franklin Gómez
Personal information
NationalityPuerto Rican
Born (1986-08-05) August 5, 1986 (age 33)
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
SportFreestyle wrestling

Early years and educationEdit

Gómez was born in Puerto Plata Province in the Dominican Republic. His father, Eugenio Gómez, was a fisherman and his mother, Margarita Matos, was a housewife. In 1991, Franklin's father died as a consequence of medical malpractice. As a result, his mother decided to move to Puerto Rico, along with Franklin and her other two sons: Emanuel and Abel.[1][2]

During childhood, Gómez played basketball and baseball. He began wrestling when he was 12 years old, training at Club Sparta in San Juan. He came to New Jersey his freshman year of high school where he stayed with a host family, Bill and Diane McGrath, in Hammonton, New Jersey. He attended St. Augustine Prep in Richland, New Jersey. Aside of wrestling, Gómez completed a Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, with a major in Psychology from Michigan State, as well as a Master's degree in Business Administration from Penn State University.[2]

Wrestling careerEdit

While studying at St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey, Gómez won district and regional titles at 103 and 112 lbs. He wrestled at Brandon High School in Brandon, Florida and won a state title at 119 lb his senior year. Gómez also wrestled for Michigan State and won an NCAA Division I title at 133 pounds in 2009. After graduation, he was recruited to Penn State University and trains freestyle wrestling at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.

During the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Gómez won the first gold medal in the sport of wrestling for Puerto Rico. He has won his last three tournaments in Romania, Italy and Germany. In his last performance, he defeated the current world champion in the 60 kg, the Russian wrestler Besik Kudukhov, claiming the gold medal in the Grand Prix of Germany. After becoming the sub-champion and winning a Silver medal in the 2011 World Championships, Gomez also won his country a spot at the 2012 London Olympics.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, Gómez faced Besik Kudukhov of Russia again but this time in the first round. Kudukhov defeated Gomez 3-1 and made the final but was defeated by Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan. With Kudukhov making the final, Gomez was made eligible to wrestle for a medal in the repechage rounds. Gómez fought against Yogeshwar Dutt in the repechage rounds, but lost again 0-3, and Dutt eventually claimed the Bronze medal.[3]

At the 2014 World Wrestling Championships in the round of 16 he lost to Soslan Ramonov (by fall) of Russia and in the repechage round 2 he lost again to Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia (4-7)

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gómez faced Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan. Gómez and Navruzov were tied 5-5 in the second round. As the match was about to end, Gómez made a move that took Navruzov outside of the ring, initially warranting two points for Gómez. However, one of the officers argued that the move favored Navruzov, forcing Gómez' corner to challenge the call. When the officers decided against him, the bout ended 8-5 against Gómez.[4]

The decision was controversial from the beginning, with various experts and sources calling the decision "insane", and saying that Gómez was "robbed" on Twitter. Some notable wrestlers and coaches that tweeted in support of Gómez were Eric Thompson, Jake Varner, Cael Sanderson, Mark Hemauer, and Ben Askren. Former Governor of Puerto Rico Aníbal Acevedo Vilá tweeted using the hashtag "#GomezGotRobbed". Meanwhile, current Governor Alejandro García Padilla vowed to protest what he called a "theft" to the sport.[5]

Shortly after the match, the three officers in charge of the match were suspended by United World Wrestling because of "suspicious officiating". They also claimed that an investigation would be done, but their decision couldn't be overturned.[6] In September 3, 2016, it was announced that the three officers were officially expelled from the UWW, without offering the reasons for the expulsion.[7]



  1. ^ Del Valle, Sara (August 10, 2012). "El Angel de Franklin Gómez". Primera Hora. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  2. ^ a b Rosa, Carlos (September 4, 2016). "Franklin Gómez: "El cariño de la gente me ha sorprendido"". El Nuevo Día.
  3. ^ Rosa, Carlos (August 12, 2012). "Sufrido y sin presea Franklin Gómez". El Nuevo Día.
  4. ^ Piñeiro, Noel (August 21, 2016). "Franklin Gómez se despide de Rio 2016". Primera Hora. Retrieved September 4, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  5. ^ "García Padilla vows protest over "theft" to Franklin Gómez". Caribbean Business. August 23, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Evans, Bill (August 22, 2016). "Rio 2016: Officials suspended after 'suspicious' call involving ex-N.J. wrestler". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Pillot, Víctor (September 3, 2016). "Expulsados los tres oficiales del combate de Franklin en Río". El Nuevo Día.

External linksEdit