Article ‘Grit for Gold’ featured in VSCO Journal

VSCO Journal Post "Grit for Gold" Featured in the 27th Edition of VSCO's Explore Community Journals.

VSCO Journal Post “Grit for Gold” Featured in the 27th Edition of VSCO’s Explore Community Journals.

In April I was more than flattered to have one of my photos from the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup selected for VSCO’s curated Grid.  Today, another pleasant surprise; my Journal post Grit for Gold was featured in VSCO’s ‘Explore Community Journals’ section.

To read my full article click HERE.

Thanks VSCO for the nod!  We really enjoy being part of the creative community you have fostered.

Beat the Streets LA Youth meet Team USA


Aaron Pico and Mercedes Rodriguez at the 2015 World Cup Open Practice for Team USA.


On April 7, the United States Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team arrived at Santa Monica High School for their first practice of the week in California leading up to the World Cup (April 11 & 12 at The Forum).

One of many great things about the sport of wrestling is it’s generous access to the discipline’s very best.  Beat the Streets Los Angeles youth had the tremendous opportunity to observe Team USA train at the open practice that morning.  After the Team finished practice they took time to meet with our youth wrestlers.  Amongst a morning filled with highlights the bright eyed youth wrestlers sat and talked with 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, World Champion Stephen Neal (who happens to be a 3x Super Bowl Champion with New England Patriots), and local area phenom and Cadet World Champion Aaron Pico.   Many thanks to USA Wrestling for this opportunity and for Coach Mark Black and Santa Monica High for being such gracious hosts.

Enjoy some of the moments I captured from that morning.

To see a full album of photos from the World Cup head on over to this part of our website – 2015 World Cup Freestyle


Joey McKenna and Aaron Pico



Jordan Burroughs and Moza Fey



Aaron Pico and Joey McKenna at Team USA Open Practice.




US Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team completes a practice at Santa Monica High School.



2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Coleman Scott takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Helen Maroulis, Victoria Anthony and Elena Pirozhkova.



Elena Pirozhkova, Victoria Anthony and Helen Maroulis take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Helen Maroulis and Elena Pirozhkova sign autographs for Beat the Streets LA youth.



World Champion and 3x Super Bowl Champion Stephen Neal takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



3x NCAA Champion Ed Ruth takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Local phenoms Anthony Valenica, Zahid Valencia and Cade Olivas take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Aaron Pico with Beat the Streets LA youth wrestler.




Jordan Burroughs takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Jordan Burroughs and Jessica Vasquez



Mercedes Rodriguez, Jordan Burroughs and Gianna Anaya


From the Forum for the Freestyle World Cup

2015 World Cup Freestyle-34

Jordan Burroughs completes a 10-0 technical fall over Morteza Rezaei Ghaleh or Iran.

Gritty. Palpable. Fervor.  These are the themes that came to mind as I stood mat side at The Forum in Inglewood to watch the finals of the Freestyle World Cup of Wrestling.  The US Team had made its way into the finals after a variety of victories over Cuba, Russia and Mongolia.  On paper much of wrestling’s odds makers had slated the red-white-and-blue for a bronze medal finish.  Yet, through a gritty performance Team USA, comprised of 3-of-8 starters wrestling in their first World Cup, managed to get within a single individual win of claiming the first World Cup title in what would have been 12 years.  Unfortunately, for us Americans and the US men, we came up short.  For wrestling fans worldwide, as witness to the spectacle of sport, it felt like a win.

The atmosphere in the arena was palpable.  The air laced with horns brought by the Iranian fans was loud and piercing.  My ears still rang the day after.

Wrestling has an inherent push-pull movement, but the oscillation of energy in the building came from the crowd as it swayed back-and-forth from pro Team Iran to pro Team USA, only shifting to neutral during the live broadcast’s ‘TV-timeout’ between matches.

I can only imagine what spectacle may be in store for the World Championships come September in Las Vegas.

Thank you Team USA, thank you Team Iran, and thank you to the other six countries who traveled far for the 2015 World Cup.

Check out my full album of photos here.

For complete results visit United World Wrestling.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-13

Tervel Dlagnev

2015 World Cup Freestyle-15

Coleman Scott

2015 World Cup Freestyle-16

Brent Metcalf defends a takedown with great athleticism.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-17

Brent Metcalf successfully defends and scores a takedown.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-18

A swollen eye as a result of attempting to defend a Jordan Burroughs takedown.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-11

Jordan Burroughs completes a takedown.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-12

Jordan Burroughs earns his 100th career victory in international competition.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-32

Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran defeats Nick Marable of the US, 3-1.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-39

Komeil Ghasemi celebrates a victory over Zach Rey of the US, and the team championship for Iran.


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