Game plan champion

Post 1: Intro

BIO: I moved to Burnaby, British Columbia to attend Simon Fraser University on an athletic scholarship. I wrested for the Simon Fraser University wrestling team until 2013. During that time I won several University and National Titles, and a Junior World Title. After graduating with an undergrad in criminology I decided to continue my education and wrestling endeavours in Burnaby. I started my masters in 2013 (finished in 2015) and continued to wrestle for the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club. Most notably, I won the University World Championships and Commonwealth Games during that time. In December 2015 I qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. I attended the Olympic Games in August 2016. However, at the Games I was injured and forced to withdraw. In the summer of 2017, I moved to Calgary to begin law school at the University of Calgary and to continue my wrestling career with the Calgary Wrestling Club.

I currently compete on the Canadian Wrestling Team. Most recently, I attended the Senior World Wrestling Championships in October 2018, where I win a silver medal. I also recently began my second year of law school. I plan to continue to pursue and excel in both my academic and athletic life. I am working towards having a successful performance at the 2020 Olympic Games and towards having a successful career as a lawyer after that time.

REFLECTIONS: I honestly cannot recall why I decided to move away from my hometown to attend University.  My parents encouraged me to pursue higher education but I felt no pressure from them to do so. My 3 siblings decided not to attend University, so I had the option of following their lead. However, for me, University felt like the natural “next step” in my life. I don't remember considering any other option for myself.

A huge reason for my certainty in pursuing a post secondary education was because, in Canada Wrestling, high performance wrestling centres are based out of university wrestling programs. For example, the University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, and Brock University, are home to three high performance centres. Therefore, I was of the opinion that if I wanted to be a great wrestler, I needed to attend one of these programs.  I chose Simon Fraser University.

I chose to major in Criminology, initially with the dream of one day becoming a Crown Prosecutor. Excelling in school therefore became necessary in order for me to achieve my dream. However, as I matured and as I learned, my thoughts about education and my educational experiences transformed.  I realized that education was a privilege. I no longer wanted to pursue my education as simply a means to my career goal, but as a means in itself. I began to crave learning and knowledge. I no longer saw my education as subordinate or as “a bonus” to my wrestling aspirations, but as distinct and equally important. I have developed the belief that education and learning should be life-long priorities.

Through my experiences, I have become an advocate for higher education. I know that the formal education system is not for everyone. However, I also know that knowledge is a very important asset. This asset can be accessed and expanded in numerous ways and in numerous settings. For me, it has primarily been through post-secondary education.

For any high school student athlete who talks to me, I encourage them to continue sport in university. Being a part of a university team is the most incredible, life-changing experience. It is a privilege and a rare opportunity that I think many people take for granted. Chasing excellence alongside teammates, who feel like your family, is indescribable. Pushing each other to be better, and supporting each other in failure and triumph is extraordinary. The life lessons, character building, and life skills you develop are priceless. It is something you will forever be thankful for, something you will never regret, and something that will be filled with experiences you will never get anywhere else.

And, contrary to what may people say, you can excel in both your sport and in your studies, while doing them AT THE SAME TIME.