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Pictured left to right: Payton Jacobson, Team USA Greco-Roman Olympic Wrestler, and Scott Kunes, COO of Kunes Auto & RV Group, laughing as they drive around in a 2024 Dodge Durango RT
Text graphic reads: Kunes Car Convos; Payton Jacobson Talking about Greco Wrestling!

Payton Jacobson: 2024 Olympics Greco-Roman Wrestler

Published on May 13, 2024 by Talia Mushinsky

Kunes Car Convos Presents: Payton Jacobson Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler and the 2024 Dodge Durango RT

In this episode...

  • 2:29 - What is Greco-Roman wrestling? 🤼
  • 4:00 - Recipe for success 📋
  • 6:50 - Unforgettable moments 💭
  • 8:56 - Challenges Payton’s overcome 🏆
  • 9:51 - Payton’s role models 💪
  • 13:51 - How can you support Payton’s path to Paris? 📣

Kunes Auto Group's Chief of Operations, Scott Kunes, recently took a ride around Elkhorn, WI, in the impressive 2024 Dodge Durango RT with none other than Payton Jacobson, a proud Elkhorn native and member of the USA Team for Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling. This Kunes Car Convo gives us a glimpse into Payton's journey and his excitement for the upcoming Summer 2024 Olympics.

a sign filled with signatures and well-wishes from Tibbets Elementary, where Payton Jacobson went to grade school

From Elkhorn to the Olympics

Payton shared that his journey in Greco-Roman wrestling began in 5th or 6th grade. By his junior year of high school, he was fully committed, traveling overseas for training and competitions. Unlike traditional high school wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling focuses on throws and upper-body strength, which Payton finds more challenging and rewarding.

The Rigors of Greco-Roman Wrestling

When asked about the difficulties of Greco-Roman wrestling, Payton explained that it’s more physically demanding due to the constant contact and high-intensity actions required for six minutes straight. Despite the physical toll, he finds it less damaging to his joints compared to other wrestling styles.

Payton Jacobson and his family in a white Jeep Wrangler decorated in USA flags

The Road to the Olympics

Making the Olympic team was a dream come true for Payton, although he has always envisioned himself as an Olympic champion. He credits the culture at Northern Michigan University (NMU) for fostering this mindset. Payton wasn’t expecting all of this fame and support after winning his spot on the USA Olympic Team, but he thinks it’s pretty cool.

Overcoming Challenges

One of the biggest hurdles Payton has faced is believing in himself. During his freshman year at NMU, Payton recalls a turning point when he looked at himself in the mirror and thought, "I'm supposed to be great. What are you doing!?"

From that moment on, he started to focus on becoming the best, building his mental strength to match his physical abilities.

Role Models and Future Goals

One of Payton Jacobson's most influential supporters has been Ken Reynolds, his former wrestling coach from Elkhorn. Reynolds first recognized Payton's potential in Greco-Roman wrestling years ago and has been a guiding force throughout his career. As Payton's Olympic journey progresses, Reynolds shares in the pride and excitement that's electrifying their hometown.

Payton draws inspiration from several athletes, including Jesse Thielke, Alston Nutter, and his teammate Benji Peak. His older brother Bryce has also been a significant influence throughout his life. Looking ahead, Payton has aspirations of becoming a strength and nutrition coach to help future athletes achieve their goals, just as his coaches have helped him.

The Olympic Path Ahead

In the months leading up to the Summer Olympics, Payton's immediate plans include intense training sessions in Alaska, Croatia, Hungary, Colorado, and finally Marquette, MI, before heading to Paris, France, for the Games.

His rigorous schedule reflects his dedication to bringing home the gold for Team USA.

man wearing a Team Jacobson shirt at the Payton's Path to Paris parade

Supporting Payton

Fans can follow Payton's journey on his Facebook page, contribute to his GoFundMe, or purchase Team Jacobson T-Shirts here (pictured above.)

Payton Jacobson, Team USA Greco-Roman Olympic Wrestler and Scott Kunes, COO of Kunes Auto & RV Group, pictured in the middle of the dealership team from Kunes CDJR of Elkhorn, WI

Join us in cheering for Payton Jacobson as he represents Elkhorn, WI, and the USA in the 2024 Olympics.


His journey is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and the power of believing in yourself.

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