Champion Chechen Athlete in the United States
Adam Shamil Daghestani, A 13 year-old Chechen living in the USA, won the gold medal in wrestling for the 2nd year in a row at the Middle School Championship in the South Jersey League.
The tournament was held in Moorestown, NJ on Feb. 13 and 14 of 2015 for varsity (experienced) wrestlers, and was attended by approximately 400 competitors from 24 different teams representing various weight classes. Adam wrestled in the 60 kilos weight class and reached the final Championship bout against an undefeated wrestler who had 17 wins and no losses. During the bout, Adam quickly gained an early lead on his opponent before pinning him in the 3rd round to claim the title. This was a hard-fought win for Adam considering he was wrestling one weight class above his natural weight, and the tournament featured talented and experienced wrestlers.
At the end of the tournament, Adam was surprised when officials announced that coaches from all teams had voted and given Adam the title of “Most Outstanding Wrestler Award” of the entire tournament – a special trophy and recognition award given to just one wrestler among all 400 wrestlers, regardless of weight class.
Also worth noting is that Adam had also won the gold medal at the same tournament last year when he was 12. Adam has thus far won 1st place in 35 tournaments and choose wrestling as his main sport at a young age. He became more interested in the sport after learning about Buvaisar Saitiev and watching many videos about his life and wrestling.
Both Adam’s parents are Chechens and he has a younger brother and sister. His father was born in the USA and his mother was born in Grozny. Although none of the family members (except for his mother) have even been in Chechnya, the family is very proud of their roots and maintain the Chechen language and traditions at home.