Phil Medeiros: Western's cerebral wrestler

Classroom skills used on the mat

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Phil Medeiros

Nicole Bakker

GRAPPLING WITH HIGH-LEVEL ACADEMICS. Veteran wrestler Phil Medeiros is pursuing a doctorate next year. His academic success is supplemented by a load of talent on the mat.

Western wrestler Phil Medeiros’ year ended in disappointment, as he failed to qualify for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport tournament after a one-point loss to the eventual class winner, Lakehead’s Chris Camarata.

The savvy veteran isn’t fazed by failure, however. Medeiros attributes this attitude to Western’s strong team environment.

“In a sport like wrestling, it’s really important that you have good supporting team members, because there are days when you don’t want to come to practice,” Medeiros says.

“But if you have that team mentality that you don’t want to let down the team, it really helps with training.”

Medeiros says team training has made this year’s team the closest in recent memory. Five workouts per week " plus cardio sessions " helped Western win four bronze medals at this year’s CIS championships

“Leading up to [events], you really need your team,” Medeiros says.

“At practice, you need training partners. You can’t practise by yourself, so the team becomes really important.”

Medeiros’ dedication extends beyond athletics and into academics. He’s almost finished his master’s degree and plans to start his doctorate in exercise biochemistry soon.

“You find out pretty quick that you can’t get anywhere unless you put in the time and work,” Medeiros says.

“If you want to be successful in either athletics or academics, you have to put in the work.”

Medeiros says adjusting to Western as a student athlete is difficult.

“When you start, there are a lot of things you’re introduced to that you want to take part of, [that] you don’t have time for because you have commitments,” he says.

“At first it’s a bit of a struggle to figure out the balance, but once you do, you find yourself being much more successful, whether it’s in athletics or academics.”

Although Medeiros denounces the WWE as a knock on real wrestlers, in his spare time he indulges in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s mixed martial arts.

Medeiros says UFC fighting parallels his brand of wrestling.

“They’re [actually] fighting,” he says. “And even though what we do is a lot more controlled, you see a lot of wrestlers kind of go into that realm.

“You can tell who has a wrestling background, usually by the way they attack and defend their legs.”

However, don’t expect to see Medeiros scrapping it up in the octagon any time soon.

“I’ll leave that to the other guys,” he says.

“I’m about to start a PhD, so I don’t think that it’s in my best interest to suffer any more head injuries.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette