[sumo] Where Wakanoho Has Landed

dss902 dss902 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 10 15:59:25 EST 2010

Great read! Thank you Jeffrey.

Here is Wakanoho football page with photo.


Thanks again


...for good or for awesome

On 10 November 2010 16:39, Jeffrey Anderson <jeffand at regent.edu> wrote:

> This article makes me wonder where he learned English good enough for
> college.
> Best regards,
> Jeffrey Anderson
> Gaijingai
> For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
> The saddest are these:
> It might have been. - John Greenleaf Whittier
> Turning over a new leaf / Expelled Russian rikishi resurfaces on Fla.
> gridiron with lofty goal
> John Gunning / Special to The Daily Yomiuri
> In the summer of 2008, as the global economy approached meltdown, the sumo
> career of Soslan Aleksandrovich Gagloev, formerly known as Wakanoho, met a
> similarly spectacular and self-inflicted end.
> Two years later, both are tentatively on the road to recovery.
> For Gagloev that road leads through Webber International College in South
> Florida and (he hopes) on to a career as a defensive lineman in the NFL.
> Now a slimmed-down 140 kilograms and playing in the small college NAIA,
> life could hardly be more different from 2008, when a lost wallet containing
> a marijuana cigarette led to his arrest and dismissal from sumo at the age
> of 20.
> "I find it hard to put into words how deeply I regret what happened,"
> Gagloev said by e-mail.
> "There are so many lost dreams in the past. So many people believed in me.
> I invested an incredible amount of training and effort in sumo, but in one
> day everything collapsed.
> "My mistake was that I relaxed. I began to pay more attention to the
> nightlife than to training. That killed me. I foolishly thought I'd still be
> able to become yokozuna. The only excuse I can offer is youth and perhaps an
> excessive trust in people."
> Having come to Japan at 15, separation from his stablemates hit him
> particularly hard.
> "We were a family. I love them very much and really miss them. With them I
> became who I am."
> The next course of action came quickly to Gagloev however.
> "On the plane back to Russia I knew where I'd go and what sport I'd
> do--American football."
> Setting a lofty goal of making the NFL by someone who had never played the
> sport certainly seems like a daunting if not impossible task. Gagloev has
> reason to believe otherwise.
> "I was doing judo in Russia when a friend put me in touch with the San
> Francisco 49ers. Head coach Mike Singletary invited me to come and watch the
> team. I was told I had all the physical attributes needed to be a
> professional football player, but lacked college experience and coaching.
> An opportunity arose for Gagloev to enter Webber International, located in
> Babson Park, about 45 minutes from Disney World.
> "But I needed to be patient. I had to lose 20 kilos, be able to run 40
> meters in under five seconds, and learn all the rules of football. All
> together, training twice a day, it took me about a year."
> Webber rose as high as 17th in the NAIA in October but is currently
> unranked at 6-4.
> Life in the United States came with another difficulty.
> "I really miss my family. I love my little home in Ossetia and often think
> about Russia. Sometimes it is hard to be without them, but at the same time,
> love for them is helping me towards a new goal.
> "In the words of the great Mongolian Asashoryu--if you fight for your
> country and family, you can always win and reach the top.'"
> In August this year, Gagloev achieved the targets set out for him and made
> the Warriors squad.
> "The beginning of my plan has been realized. Killing the sumo wrestler, the
> football player has been born, and I hope I can achieve what I came to the
> U.S. to do."
> Gagloev the football player hasn't completely abandoned Wakanoho the
> wrestler.
> "Because of me, people have suffered. I failed my stablemaster. I have not
> had the courage to call him, but I really miss him and the time we spent
> together.
> "If he reads this I want him to know that I will come back and see him,
> after I succeed in reaching the NFL."
> (Nov. 11, 2010)
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