June 21, 2022 – Two weeks have passed since Final X fans from across the country gathered in awe at Madison Square Garden to watch PRTC resident athlete Jordan Burroughs earn his way onto an 11th World Team. This is no ordinary feat—to make a US World Team and secure the opportunity to compete for a World Championship year after year, 11 times. It is a task only legends are capable of achieving. Burroughs is just that, one of the greatest to ever take to the mat. An Olympic champion who also holds five World titles, eight World/Olympic medals, a 69-match winning streak, Burroughs seems to have evolved as much as the sport itself over the past 11 years.
What’s more impressive than Burroughs’ achievements and performances on the mat, which included two dominant and strategic wins against Chance Marstellar of the NYC RTC in a best-of-three series, is the interview after Jordan’s victory. A man who has so many accomplishments and yet, is a humble and wise individual. Burroughs spoke more of the PRTC coaching staff and his support system, than he did of himself.
While reflecting on his performance, Burroughs was asked about the Beat the Streets program. Beat the Streets NYC held their annual gala in collaboration with the Final X event. The PRTC works alongside BTS Philly in an effort to mentor and guide underserved youth through the sport of wrestling, “We work very closely with BTS Philadelphia now, a derivative of BTS National. They do a phenomenal job of raising money and keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble in underserved areas,” Jordan explained. He has spent years partnered with Beat the Streets in an effort to grow support around the program that serves nearly 9,000 youth from 37+ cities annually.
At first a clinician and now a mentor, Burroughs added, “When you really start to work with these kids daily, and when you really recognize the difficulties they are going through on an everyday basis; what they go home to, how difficult their lives are, my job now is less wrestling and more mentorship. I am trying to be a father figure to these individuals. They go home to a fatherless home, with five younger siblings, in a parental role at 15-16 years of age. They are dealing with real problems—danger on the streets, possible incarceration, tempted by drugs daily. There are a lot of things these kids deal with that we are trying to combat. The sport of wrestling is great for that because it teaches character development unlike any sport in the world.”
Burroughs attributes his strength as a leader to the sport of wrestling. He adds that his role as a mentor, alongside the roles of his PRTC teammates and coaches, is one that has the ability and power to break generational patterns plagued by broken homes and a lack of encouragement and parental support. “I have a civic duty to the public and to the people who follow me. I want to encourage and motivate individuals I spend time with at all BTS locations.” It is clear, Burroughs does just that as all of his PRTC teammates have shared. David McFadden notes, “When Jordan talks, the room grows silent and we listen to every word, every piece of advice, and word of wisdom he shares.” Led by Coach Brandon Slay, the PRTC athletes all demonstrate the desire to live out the core values on which the organization was founded: Faith over fear, full effort, struggle well, and last but certainly not least, to serve others.
Burroughs will represent Team USA at 79kg in Belgrade, Serbia September 10-18, 2022.
Story by Gina Perry
Pictures by Aaron Morekin and Tony Rotundo