Oak Bay High student and wrestler John Fayad

Teen wrestler wrangles two gold

Oak Bay High student John Fayad brought wrestled for gold twice at the BC Summer Games

Oak Bay High student John Fayad brought wrestled for gold twice at the BC Summer Games recently in Nanaimo. The 17-year-old won top spot in his individual weight division (66kg), and with that win, helped carry the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team to gold.

Fayad’s athletic career started early, when he began going to Zuma gym in Esquimalt at only eight years old.

“We pretty much started a program for John and some other kids,” said Sarah Kaufman, a UFC fighter who’s worked as an instructor at the gym since it opened. Fayad’s dad, a personal trainer and black belt in judo, wanted something other than the prevalent karate and kenpo classes for his son, said Kaufman. Enter Adam Zugec, a coach with a variety of skills not yet seen very much on the Island.

“Adam was one of the first ones to come in with muay thai, grappling, jiujitsu, wrestling,” said Kaufman.

Half a dozen years later in Grade 8, a high school student introduced Fayad to wrestling, and it took off from there. Fayad has been at the gym, and under Zugec’s guidance for the last nine years.

“The coaches are really good,” he said. “And (the gym has) the best training partners. You need someone who will push you.”

Fayad, who’s also played rugby, baseball and basketball, said he enjoys the challenge of being on his own in the ring. “I like how it’s one-on-one. It teaches you to be more independent,” he said. “It can be stressful too. It’s only you out there.”

He said competing in the BC Summer Games was “one of the best experiences (he’s) had,” and it was a challenge too. “There was no one bad there,” he said. And even with two gold medals hanging on his neck, he’s still quick to identify room for improvement.

“I need to get a lot better on the ground. Become a bit more technical.”

No stranger to competition, Fayad’s tested his wrestling skills and strength in matches provincially and for western Canada, but despite his success, he said he’s not sure if a professional wrestling career is in the cards.

“I might try to wrestle after high school,” he said, “but I definitely want to go to school.” Universities on the Mainland or back east are on the top of his list, and he said he’ll likely study business when he gets there. Academic success is just as important to Fayad, who’s already taken pre-calculus, and plans to continue on with calculus in September as he enters his final year.

 

Keeping up with workouts four to five times per week, sparring, weights and cross country on top of a busy senior year will no doubt be challenging, but given the discipline he’s shown up until now, he’s sure to be successful.

 

 

Just Posted

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

The stuffed dog had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read