by John Austen
They may not be as popular as WWF stars The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin
but a pair of Concordia wrestlers came just a hair away from gold-medal
victories earlier this month at the CIAU Wrestling Championships in Thunder
Tamara Medwidsky won a silver medal in the 70-kilo weight class, while
Jason Chen took bronze in the 68-kilo class at the finals, held at Lakehead
Medwidsky, 26, won a gold medal in the 65-kilo class weight class last
year. She also took gold in the 1999 event. The MBA student has had a
good season, finishing first at tournaments held at Queens University
and the University of Western Ontario.
In 1998 she represented Canada at the World Championships in Poland, and
finished seventh. Her career objective is to win the world championship
and represent Canada at the Olympics, should womens wrestling become
an Olympic sport.
Chen, 25, defeated Matt Farrell from the University of Calgary for the
I should have been in the gold-medal match but I got robbed by a
bad call, said Chen. Normally, the officiating is dependable,
but this was terrible. Apparently [the referee] is getting demoted. He
cost me a great shot at the gold, but what are you going to do?
Coach Victor Zilberman, who has racked up six national championships since
taking over the Concordia program in 1977, says both his star wrestlers
were superior to their opponents.
Both Tamara and Jason work very hard and they were the best wrestlers
in their respective weight classes, he said. Maybe they were
a bit nervous, but they should have both won gold.
Chen says he wasnt at his best at the championships. I got
the flu, so that slowed me down a bit, he said. I was really
disappointed at the final results we all were.
Other Concordia results were: Martine Dugrenier, fifth, 65 kilos; Mark
Roache, seventh, 90 kilos; and Chris Chung, eighth, 82 kilos.
With just three wrestlers, Concordia accumulated nine points and finished
12th out of 16 teams in the mens standings. Brock University finished
in first place with 60 points. With Medwidsky and Dugrenier representing
the women, Concordia earned 12 points and finished ninth out of 13 teams.
University of Calgary was first overall with 54 points.
Zilberman says that wrestling is the best sport around, and
hopes to see some new recruits join the program.
We were winning all the time in the 80s and wed like to get
to that point again, he said. This form of wrestling doesnt
always get the respect and support that it deserves. Its great for
a persons all-around development and well-being.