Darian Cruz: Going for the Gold with God as His Guide

The 2024 Olympics are a little closer to home this time around. The summer Olympics, held in Paris and starting on July 26, will have a wrestling competitor from Bethlehem Catholic High School: Darian Cruz.

Raised for the majority of his life in Bethlehem, Cruz started wrestling when he was just 4 years old. He attended Bethlehem Catholic High School (Becahi), where he was a two-time state champion, and the Becahi wrestling team went on to win three titles while he was a student. After graduating in 2013, Cruz went on to wrestle for Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

After finishing his degree at Lehigh which, as he said, was basically in his backyard, Cruz went on to compete internationally. Starting out representing the United States, around 2020, Cruz transferred as a competitor to Puerto Rico, which he will be representing for the Olympics this summer.

Cruz qualified for the Olympics on March 1, 2024, and immediately boarded a flight to come home to the Lehigh Valley. “I made it to ABE just in time to be there for my second child to be born. I left my stuff on the carousel, that’s how crazy it was,” Cruz said.

For about six weeks after his son was born, and since he had already qualified for the summer games, Cruz stayed home with his family before the practices ramped up. Cruz stated that he would be using resources from around the world to get ready. “I have an incredibly supportive wife who takes care of the kids and is helping me gear up [for the Olympics].”

As Cruz trains for the Olympics this summer, he said, he wants to prepare to be as good as he can be because so many people are excited for him. “I’m excited to train over the next few months and to let it fly. And, God willing, I am hoping to bring home the gold medal.”

While Cruz recognizes that bringing home the medal is tough, he has faith that if God wants it, it will happen. It is his faith and trust in God that has helped him get as far as he has. “I feel incredibly strong in my faith, and that is why I feel so comfortable and confident because it is all in His hands. I can do my part by becoming as good as I can be with the blessings He has provided for me. If I win, awesome; if I lose, awesome. Ultimately, His will be done.”

Cruz is beyond grateful for the support and help the Diocese of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley have provided in forming him as an Olympian and man of faith. He has found great role models in this area.

Tune in to the Olympics this summer to see our local Olympian. Opening ceremonies will be on Friday, July 26, with Cruz competing on Thursday, Aug. 8.


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