Sea-Hawk wrestler to compete in Australia

December 20, 2004 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

It is enjoyable to follow the top wrestler at MUN every season. It is inspiring to track one of the hardest working Sea-Hawks as he goes through countless practices. But when he is followed for several seasons with no one recognizing that he is hard of hearing, the athlete’s story becomes exceptional. This athlete is Marco Chiaramonte, a fourth-year wrestler with the Memorial Sea-Hawks.
The first thing the wrestler’s coach and teammates will say is that he trains harder than anyone else on the team. As Chiaramonte describes his weekly workout plan, this becomes clear: “Regular wrestling practice is just wrestling five days a week for two hours. I do cardio twice a week, also judo three times a week, and then strength training twice a week. In all, I’ll do about 24 hours of practice a week”, he says.

The star wrestler is also a great fighter in judo. This past weekend, he came fifth in a national competition. He is also the 2007 Canada Games coach for the sport. When asked if he preferred judo to wrestling, Chiaramonte explains: “I started in judo before wrestling. I’ve been doing it for about 12 years. It’s hard to say I like one more than another. Judo is very similar to wrestling, it’s just a difference in attire, and with more throws.”

One might guess that constant sparring with teammates would cause tension in the combat room, but Chiaramonte disagrees. “Nah, I don’t get mad at people. While you wrestle people you’re aggressive, but you’re friends after.”

So, where does his motivation to work so hard come from? He explains that it is his competitions that drive him to work so hard in practice. “I don’t know how to motivate myself. I always have certain goals that motivate me. I have the CIS [championships] this year, so that’s certainly a motivation to train harder.”

Wrestling is not only a physical sport, and as Chiaramonte explains, a lot of the sport involves mental toughness. “If you’re not mentally strong, especially at the higher levels, the guy is just going to pin you or throw you all around. You really have to stay focused because there are so many skills involved. You have to be sharp and not get caught making a bad move,” he says.

The athlete prepares himself mentally before the match begins. “I try to tune out the crowd, do some breathing exercises. Think about what [I’m] going to do, and how [I’m] going to fight, and plan to exploit my opponent’s weaknesses.”
Perhaps more mentally taxing on Chiaramonte is the perceptions about his sport. Many still retain the idea that varsity wrestling is the same thing as the WWE. “I don’t like fake wrestling because it’s not real to me. I don’t think it should be called wrestling. It’s not even entertainment to me,” he says.

Chiaramonte also admits that it is sometimes hard for him to not compete in front of a home crowd. However, it is training at home that he finds most difficult. “[Wrestling] is an individual sport. It’s more frustrating when there’s nobody to train with. It’s hard to compete with the good guys all the time – that’s why I train so hard at other training methods,” he says.

In the very near future, Chiaramonte will once again wrestle the best. In January he will travel to Melbourne, Australia to compete in the 2005 Deaflympics. He will become the first Canadian to compete in these games. The Deaflympics feature 3,500 athletes and team officials competing in 15 different sports. The games originated in Paris in 1924.

Chiaramonte will also compete for MUN in the 2005 CIS Championships, as well as regular AUS season competition, and many judo competitions.

-by John Rieti

marco1.jpg

Marco Chiaramonte (right) is shown here with Olympic Wrestling Champion, Daniel Igali (left) at the CIS National Championships 2004

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Entry filed under: International, MUN Varsity.

Chiaramonte Places Fourth at Deaflympics

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