By Jahongir Davronov ’18
Several Hornets volunteered for a huge wrestling event in Times Square on May 17. A non-profit organization called Beat the Streets hosted a dual meet between two countries and a few students took advantage of that by helping out and watching some of the best wrestlers in the country grapple.
Beat the Streets (BTS) is dedicated to strengthen the culture of wrestling in New York City and improve the lives of student-athletes across the city. Every year, the organization hosts an event where notable wrestlers from America face off against opponents from other nations. This year, it was U.S.A vs. Japan.
“This is such a great place to volunteer. It’s in Times Square and you get to watch the best guys wrestle,” said Ibrahim Mohamed ’19, who volunteered in the event. “Besides, you can get a seat for free if you volunteer.”
The sole purpose of this annual benefit is to raise money for BTS itself. It also provides entertainment, where New Yorkers can learn more about the sport. The volunteers helped set up the mats and fences. This year’s benefit was considered one of the best by many and BTS successfully raised a mounting $1.2 million for NYC wrestlers.
Raja Ali ’18, another volunteer, said, “Everyone said this year was going to be the best of all and after watching all the action, I knew it was.”
The event featured Jordan Burroughs, America’s 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and three-time world champion, as it has every year. There were ten men’s matches and three women’s matches, not to mention the nine youth matches and the NYC PSAL Girl’s Freestyle Dual Meet between Truman High School and Wingate High School. Times Square was crowded with an audience as they cheered for Team U.S.A.
“Everyone knows Jordan Burroughs is the best wrestler in the world. That’s why he wrestles last, so people don’t leave early after watching his match,” said Ali ’18.
Many of the athletes were either olympians, world champions, or both. Noteworthy wrestlers include Frank Chamizo of Italy, Kyle Snyder, and Helen Maroulis, all who are Rio 2016 Olympians.
At the end, it was U.S.A winning over Japan, only one match short in the women’s side. The winners received Azad watches. Despite the victories and defeats, the event brought people together and raised a fortune for young wrestlers across New York City.