Philadelphia, Pa. – Last weekend, the PRTC’s Jordan Burroughs became the first American wrestler to win seven gold medals at the World/Olympic level. Surpassing Six Time Gold Medalists Adeline Gray and John Smith, Burroughs has become, arguably, the greatest of all time in USA wrestling history.
For the second year in a row, Burroughs defeated Mohammad Nokhodilarimi of Iran. Behind 1-0 after the first period, Burroughs quickly scored a push out to tie it up. A shot to finish secured a takedown giving him a 3-1 lead. Nokhodilarimi pushed back with a late step out score to close the gap but Burroughs would hold off for the 4-2 victory.
This is the second World Championship title for Burroughs since moving to Philadelphia in the Summer of 2021 to train with the PRTC.
“Philly is everything I could have ever imagined as a training location,” said Burroughs. “Great partners, amazing leadership, and a community that truly loves the sport. There has been so much encouragement from the Drexel and Penn family to help prepare me to take on the world, and to celebrate my success after victories.”
Three of Burroughs’ teammates were also in Belgrade, Serbia for the World Championships. New PRTC senior athlete Tyler Berger was Burroughs’ main training partner leading up to the event. Joey McKenna helped prepare USA 61kg Seth Gross. David McFadden traveled with the team from San Marino as 86kg Myles Amine’s training partner.
“As a team, we were all focused on maximizing Jordan and Team USA’s performance,” said PRTC Executive Director and Head Coach Brandon Slay. “Joey, Tyler, and David also benefited from being training partners and servant leaders.”
PRTC senior athletes Mark Hall and Richard Perry stayed in Philly to coach U23 and Developmental practices while the team traveled. Hall is also the volunteer assistant coach at Penn. Serving others, a core value of the PRTC, is deeply rooted in the local wrestling ecosystem.
“Jordan’s record setting performance breathes life into the entire wrestling community and way beyond,“ said Slay. “His faith, full effort, and fortitude will continue to blaze a path for wrestlers from the PRTC, Penn, Drexel, Beat the Streets Philly, and a myriad of age group wrestlers all around the greater Philadelphia area.”
The PRTC practices at both the Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania training facilities in West Philadelphia. The Beat the Streets Mentoring Center is located between the two. Burroughs lives in the city and often brings his family with him to practice. He frequently volunteers his time with the underserved youth of Beat the Streets.
“I desire the legacy of this World Championship to be tied to representation,” he said. “In a sport with many heroes, but few of color, I get to be the standard now for which all young brown men and women hope to achieve someday. It’s an honor.”
Burroughs will next compete with Team USA at the 2022 World Cup to be held in Coralville, Iowa on December 10th and 11th.
Photos by Levi Ventura
Story by Kevin McGuigan