SPEAKER 1: Yianni, back-to-back national champion. Talk about that moment in overtime when you got the takedown to win it.
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: I trusted myself. I knew I could take him down if I wrestled. And it's my job to create as much wrestling as possible and win the hard way. Don't sneak it out. Don't win easy. Win the hard way.
SPEAKER 2: How do you stay so poised?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: It's one thing that I've kind of grown up with and my coaches instill in me-- is that I will never allow myself to lose. And I always have to-- I always can and will find a way to win a match. And I genuinely believe in myself, and I think that that's what does it for me.
GARY ABBOTT: Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling. Just two questions. If they used freestyle rules, how many more points do you think you would have scored in that match?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: So many. You know, I'm glad I won a national title, but time to get to the real wrestling, freestyle.
GARY ABBOTT: And then the followup is, are you going to go to the Garden and wrestle with the top three [INAUDIBLE] guy?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: I'd love to, whoever it is. You know, I'm--
GARY ABBOTT: I think it might be Stever, but I mean--
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: Whoever. You know, I love wrestling. Put a good guy in front of me, and I'm never going to turn that opportunity down.
JIM NORDLAND: Yianni, Jim Nordland, Mat Slap, Long Island, New York. First off, congratulations in winning.
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: Thank you.
JIM NORDLAND: Great, great match.
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: Thank you.
JIM NORDLAND: I've watched you win four state titles, two NCAA titles, and yet I think you maintain poise and you always find ways to score. How do you keep your composure through these tightest, highest-level matches throughout your entire career?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: Kind of like what I was talking about earlier. I believe in myself. And I think willpower is a really strong thing, and my coaches train my will to be stronger than anyone else. And when it comes down to those overtime gritty takedowns and it's a battle of willpower, I know my coaches prepared me better than anyone else.
SPEAKER 3: You didn't blow out your ACL or anything this year, did you?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: No, healthy, believe it or not. I never thought I could get through a whole year without being hurt, but hey, I'm glad it's over.
SPEAKER 4: Last question?
GARY ABBOTT: I mean, you're a mat rat. You love wrestling. Do you take a break? Do you give yourself some time away, or are you back in, working on tilts and anything else? It's hard to stay this high in this level of preparedness that you had for this. What's next?
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: I don't take extended period of times off. I wrestle and I believe I succeed because of how much I love it. That being said, you'll probably see me in the room Monday or Tuesday.
GARY ABBOTT: OK! [LAUGHS] That's awesome.
SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 6: Thank you, Yianni. Congratulations.
YIANNI DIAKOMIHALIS: Thank you, guys.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about this request.
Press conference with Yianni Diakomihalis '21 following his second national title win at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Cornell posted a top 10 team finish for the 12th consecutive year as the tournament concluded March 23 at PPG Paints Arena. The Big Red placed seventh overall, accumulating 59.5 points and crowning four All-Americans during the three-day meet.