Senior Michael Sloman, a Pace Academy lifer, maintains a special relationship with his favorite sport, wrestling, which goes far beyond the typical athletic spirit that resides in many Pace sports. With over 29 wins this season and many pins, he not only finds passion in the thrill of victory, but also the entire nature that surrounds the sport.

Though many believe wrestling focuses on extreme strength and brute force, Michael sees it as something more: “The mat is an arena not only for the body, but the mind as well.” When watching a wrestling match, that’s easy to understand. A wrestler’s technique, he said, is “so personal, so stylized,” which happens to be what really connects him to the sport.

Wrestling puts an emphasis on the individual, and the energy of two men fighting each other without any support fills the entire gym during a meet. Michael said that winning a wrestling match is like the ultimate victory for one reason: “You shake the other man’s hand, look him in the eye, and know you bested him in a true test of skill, strength and mental fortitude. And you know you can do it again.” Michael continues to win match after match, and hopes to go to the state meet later this winter.

Photos: Dean Papastrat

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