SURREY, BC: Indo-Canadian wrestler Amarveer Dhesi is representing Canada in the 125kg freestyle competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 25-year-old Amarveer won his entry to the Games by reaching the final of the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in March last year. Dhesi pinned his opponent Charles Merrill of Puerto Rico to secure victory in the 125 kg semifinal.
The 24-year-old from Surrey, B.C., won his two round-robin matches by technical superiority. He also defeated the favourite to qualify for the weight class Sumit Malik of India twice since 2020 -both times at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series in Rome.
The Canadian wrestling team comprises Amarveer (125kg), Jordan Steeen who will compete in the men’s 97kg freestyle event, and two women – Rio 2016 Olympic champion Erica Wiebe, who will compete in the women’s 76kg event and Danielle Lappage in the 68 kg class.
Amarveer’s father, Balbir Singh Dhesi, was the Indian national wrestling champion in the 1970s The family comes fromSanghwal village of Jalandhar district in Punjab/. Balbir was a head constable with the Punjab Police when he visited Canada in 1976 to take part in a tournament and decided to stay back.
He first worked as a construction worker and then got a job with a saw mill where he worked for 22 years. Balbir also opened the Khalsa Wrestling Club in Surrey, where he has trained several young wrestlers.
Amarveer’s elder brother Parmvir Dhesi also competed in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. He is now a sergeant with Vancouver police. Dhesi now lives in Columbus, Ohio and trains with other worldclass wrestlers at Ohio Regional Training Centre, which is affiliated with Ohio State University.
During his high school wrestling career Amar was a multiple time Provincial and National champion in freestyle and Greco Roman. Dhesi is the second PunjabiCanadian freestyle wrestling Olympian from British Columbia.
Earlier, Arjan Bhullar, blazed the trail when he became the first freestyle wrestler of Indian origin to qualify for the London Olympics, also in the 120kg freestyle segment as Amarveer.