COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — It’s over.
At age 35, Father Time finally has caught up with Chris Bono. The former Iowa State NCAA champion and three-time World Team member has hung up the singlet. Forever.
“There’s no way I’m coming back. This is for good,” Bono said Saturday afternoon, matside at the World Team Trials here at the Mid-America Center. “Does it hurt? No. Would I like to be out there? Of course I would. I’m as competitive as the next guy. I wanted to win (a world title). It just didn’t happen.”
Bono competed at last month’s U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas.
He took a week off before resuming workouts. He hurt and soon was told he’d need multiple surgies to fix his ailing elbows and hand.
“I was going to try to fight through it but my training suffered,” Bono said. “I’m not the kind of guy who is going to train half-heartedly.”
After his ISU career ended in 1996, Bono spent nine years as an assistant under Bobby Douglas. He’s entering his fourth season as head coach of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Bono was scheduled to compete this weekend at 145.5 pounds. Instead, he’s here in support of others, trying to help them achieve their goals.
“It hurts, but I’ve gotten over it. I’m happy with the decision,” Bono said. “I love the other side of it. I love the coaching thing and concentrating on the athletes. I’ve made lifelong friendships traveling around the world, I’ve traveled the world a couple times over. I wouldn’t change anything at all.”