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Wrestling Stories is
a collection of writing and videos from and about wrestlers of all ages and skill-level celebrating the life lessons of wrestling. The Wrestling Stories is meant to inspire and educate anyone interested in the sport.

Through this website, and other productions, we aim to create a platform for wrestlers to share stories about how wrestling has impacted their lives and the lessons the sport has taught them. The project harnesses the power of story to inspire wrestlers and non-wrestlers with the spirit of the sport, to educate people about what it means to be a wrestler, and to celebrate the world's oldest sport.

The collection:


Personal Stories

Writing from wrestlers across the country submitted to Wrestling Stories

Jared Forman graduated from MIT in 2013 with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Chemical Engineering Practice at MIT and has also been accepted into Harvard Business School. Jared wrestled for Newton North High School from 2005-2009. While at MIT, he was a member of the track and field team and was a member of a New England Championship 4x800m relay team.

Dr. William A. Gahl, MD, PhD, was a captain of the MIT wrestling team, received his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1972, and his MD and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin and a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Gahl is certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics, and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Genetics, past president of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Gahl is an international expert in cystinosis, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, alkaptonuria, and disorders of free sialic acid metabolism. He is currently Clinical Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, director of the intramural program of the Office of Rare Diseases, and Director of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program. Dr. Gahl is a recipient of the 2011 Service to America Medal in Science and the Environment.

Michael Hines is a senior at Olentangy Organce High School who began wrestling in the seventh grade. After a month of practice, Michael fell in love with the sport and decided to commit to wrestling year round. His sophomore year he was a match away from qualifying for the Ohio state tournament, and he has wrestled twice on the Ohio national team that competes at Fargo. He is a 4x varsity letter and was elected team captain as a senior. Michael hopes to study nuclear engineering at MIT.

Gehrig Leary currently attends the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he studies Finance and Economics. Previously he was the Assistant coach of Westford Academy in 2009, placing five at the Division II state tournament. He wrestled for Westford Academy of Westford, MA from 2005-2008. There he served as captain of the 2008 Dual County League championship team, the first in school history, and was a two-time Division II state qualifier. His wrestling mentors include the legendary David Shunamon and Bobby Donovan of Tewksbury, and Billy Corr of Westford. Future goals include business school and equity research.

Nick Mariano wrestled at Newton North High School from 2009-2013 and is currently a student at Bentley University. He finished with a career record of 110-40, including a senior year in which he went 52-5, winning sections, taking second at Divisional States, and fifth at All-States.

Greg McBride is a former Princeton wrestler, class of 1967. His collection of poems, “Porthole,” won the 2012 Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry. His work appears in Gettysburg ReviewRiver StyxSalmagundi, and Southern Poetry Review. His awards include the Boulevard Emerging Poet prize and a grant in poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. A Vietnam veteran and retired lawyer, he edits The Innisfree Poetry Journal.

Donald wrestles division 1 at Rider University and was an NCCA qualifier this past year. Donald is from Plainville, Massachusetts, where he spent three years at King Philip Regional High school in Wrentham, Massachusetts, from 2005-2008. While at King Philip he won the division 2 state tournament at both 160 and 215 pounds. He was second at the New England championships to Robert “The Vermonster” Hamlin. He finished 5th at the NHSCA sophomore nationals as well. Before his senior year, he transferred to Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, PA and while there he won the prep national tournament, pinning his way through the tournament and receiving the most pins in the least amount of time and the most team points scored.
Here are two other perspectives on Donald's unique story: 

Jeremy is a rising senior (class of 2014) at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He has been a varsity wrestler there for each of his first three years of school, and posts a career record of 18-18. In high school, he was a member of the 2009 Division I state championship Framingham Flyers team. In high school he posted a career record of 108-16, he was a 3x state place winner and a 2x finalist. He was a 2013 Academic All American and senior captain at Framingham. He is majoring in mathematics and economics and enjoys reading in his spare time.

The creator of the wrestling stories, Sam Shames is an MIT student (class of 2014) studying materials science and engineering with a minor in energy studies. He is a captain of the MIT wrestling team and a 2013 NCWA National Champion at 125 pounds, as well as a three time NCWA All-American. He wrestled for Newton North High School from 2006-2010, where he was the first New England Champion in school history and finished with a career record of 150-19.


Writing from wrestlers across the country submitted to Wrestling Stories

Two essays written by Sam Shames about what makes wrestling such a special sport. The four-page version is a condensed version of the fifteen-page piece.

Chris Thatcher graduated from Princeton University in 1993 where he was a four-year varsity letter-winner and two year captain. 

Below are links to articles and books about wrestlers


Articles about wrestlers from publications across the country

Gbenga Akinnagbe (by Gbenga Akinnagbe from March 2012 NYT)

Hard Work (by Jordan Burroughs from April 2013)

Injuries Suck. Or do they? (by Jordan Burroughs from November 2012)

Dan Gable (by John Irving from April 1973 Esquire)

Dan Gable (by Wright Thompson from August 2013 ESPN)

Cary Kolat (by Merrell Noden from April 1992 Sports Illustrated)

Mike Powell (by Chris Ballad from February 2012 Sports Illustrated)


Novels and true stories of wrestlers and the sport

by Mike Chapman
Mike Chapman is an award-winning wrestling historian who written 15 books on wrestling. For more information about his books and for information about how to purchase those not available on amazon, visit his website.

by Alfred C. Martino

by E. M. J. Benjamin

by Anthony Robles



Interviews with wrestlers from across the country

Jaes Jones

J.P. O'Connor

Mike Gibson

Nick Stager


Feature pieces about wrestlers

Dan Gable Sports Century

In Relentless Pursuit

Kyle Dake NCAA on Campus

No Quit

Veritas Wrestling


Movies and Documentaries about wrestlers

Directed by Braden Barty

Directed by Patrick Norman

Directed by Todd Hickey

Directed by Oren Kaplan

Directed by Jonathan Hock