‘Out there & having fun’

Posted 5/24/23

11-year-old Cranston resident Joseph Colardo placed first in the Ohio National Tournament of Champions wrestling competition, junior 75 division, held in West Virginia last month.

“I do …

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‘Out there & having fun’


11-year-old Cranston resident Joseph Colardo placed first in the Ohio National Tournament of Champions wrestling competition, junior 75 division, held in West Virginia last month.

“I do this a lot,” Joseph said. “I’ve won some other big nationals for Rhode Island. It’s just normal. I do lots of tournaments, and I really don’t care too much. I just go out there and have fun.”

Joseph started wrestling at four years old. He said he loves it. Joseph used to play baseball when he was younger, as well as soccer, and when he was offered a chance to try out wrestling he went for it.

“This is one of his biggest,” said Heather Colardo, Joseph’s mom. “I don’t think anybody in Rhode Island has won this competition in, I want to say, 31 years. That was huge. He’s won some pretty impressive national tournaments across the country, but this one was by far the biggest.”

When asked just how many tournaments he’s been in, Joseph and his mom shared a look of confusion.

“It’s been a lot,” Heather laughed. “He’s a seven time state champ for Rhode Island. He just won first middle school state’s. He’s done so many tournaments. He just did the Middle Atlantic, or M.A.W.A, which brought us to Maryland. There was Freakshow in Las Vegas which was another national tournament.”

Traveling, making new friends and increasing his skill are Joseph’s favorite parts of wrestling. While attending competitions across the country he’s made numerous friends that he still keeps in touch with through text. The Colardo family has even made room for friends that Joseph has met at meets to visit Rhode Island and stay over for a visit.

With the drive and passion Joseph has, it’s no wonder that he has every intention of continuing with wrestling and eventually competing internationally.

“It’s a good sport,” he explained. “I love traveling and making lots of friends from it. It’s just fun. When I train it pays off, and I’m good at it. I like being able to go across the country, and one day I want to be in the NCAA and travel all over the world.”

The entire Colardo family is proud of Joseph and he couldn’t have gotten so far without their support, especially that of his father, Michael, who first gave him the chance at joining wrestling and has supported him through every step of his journey.

“It’s nice having him gone for some of the time,” laughed his older sister, Alexandra Colardo, when asked what it was like seeing her brother compete on a national level and travel across the country.

“It’s tough,” Joseph’s mother Heather said. “It’s extremely rewarding, and you’re so proud every moment. He puts in work 24/7. When I say that, it’s because it is non-stop. It’s hard especially because of the weight parts. If you’re over by just an ounce you’re in trouble.”

Maintaining weight is one of the most difficult parts of wrestling competitively. When the time for weigh-ins come being over by just a small amount can force a wrestler into a different category and place them into a completely different bracket of competition, and Joseph likes to eat.

“Once the weigh-in is done I can just eat whatever I want,” said an excited Joseph. “It’s hard sometimes, but I just remind myself that it’ll be over once I get weighed.”

If there was any doubt about Joseph’s dedication to the sport, it would be wiped away by anyone hearing the young man’s gym schedule.

“I wake up early in the morning and train before school,” Joseph began before his mom asked him what he calls his routine. “Oh, rise and grind,” he laughed. “I usually go Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to my gym. Then Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is just practice. The day without practice is usually Sunday, and that’s where I usually just train in the garage.”

Not even summer vacation stops Joseph’s passion. During the summer months, while school takes a break, Joseph attends wrestling camps to further improve on his skills. Hearing him talk about it makes it seem like just another trip to the mall, but the look of pride and the smile on his mother’s face make it clear that Joseph’s dedication to his craft is one that fills his parents with both awe and honor.

“I’m going to keep it going,” Joseph insisted. “If I was going to play any other sport it would be for training. Maybe track for stamina, but any other sport would just be to help me wrestle better.”

wrestler, wrestling


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