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Hats off to National Champion Jamie Macari

One of Canada’s most decorated young wrestlers has made the decision to retire. Jamie Macari, who wrapped up a standout career at Brock University this spring, is walking off the mat having recently won gold at the senior nationals and after having made his fourth senior national squad.

"It's been a long time in coming. I've had difficulty with a number of joints in my body over the past three and a half years; my hip, and back, and particularly my elbow," says the 23-year old Macari, who had been an Olympic hopeful. "Training was almost brought to a stand still this past season. So whether I won or lost, this was going to be it. Being able to go out on top was a blessing."

Macari, a Kinesiology graduate, is the only wrestler to win both five Canadian Interuniversity Sport national titles and five Ontario University Athletics titles consecutively; he completed that unprecedented run March 3 in Saskatoon. Macari finished with a lifetime 35-0 record in university championship competition. Since becoming a Senior in 2004, he has lost only 3 matches to a Canadian in the four years leading up to his retirement.

His decision to retire will hit him in the wallet, but he is at peace with his decision.” The tough call at the end was to retire and forfeit carding now, when I could use it to support myself during and after elbow surgery and recovery" Macari says. "People keep saying its a lot of money, but I made the right decision and will enjoy it every day forward." For Macari, wrestling has just been the beginning. He will move on to accept an assistant coaching position at Lakehead University, where he will attend teachers college. "I’m really excited and looking forward to completing the step from athlete to coach. I think Lakehead is a great fit because it has my program of choice and it also gives me a lot of opportunity for growth as a coach." He will likewise contribute to wrest! ling through his role as athletes representative for CAWA. Macari, a committed Christian, also hopes to begin a wrestling ministry through Athletes in Action. A member of the Canadian Forces, he will also continue part-time employment with the military reserves.

"I want to thank all the people that made this career possible for me. For Marty, my long-time coach, who took to me early and gave so much help to me. For Perry Wakulich who sacrificed a lot of time in a busy life so I could benefit from this sport in high-school. And for Richard DesChatelets who mentored my wrestling through my many injuries later in my career. Truth be told, I have a lot of people to thank- teammates especially- for all their contributions. I was surrounded by good people and had a very good club to train with. I hope I can be as much of a blessing to the next generation as were the people who helped me these past 10 great years".

National Championships: 2001 Juvenile FS (50kg), 2002 Junior GR (54kg), 2003 Junior FS (55kg) & GR (60kg), 2004 Senior FS & GR (55kg), 2005 Senior FS & GR (55kg), 2007 Senior FS (55kg).

Varsity Wrestling: 2003 OUA & CIS Champion (54kg), 2004 OUA & CIS Champion (57kg), 2005 OUA & CIS Champion (57kg), 2006 OUA & CIS Champion (54kg), 2007 OUA & CIS Champion (54kg). Men's Team Champions 2003 through 2007.

Wrestling Awards: 2007 CIS Outstanding Wrestler, 2007 CIS Fair Play award, 2007 Brock Male Athlete of the Year, 2006 Brock Male Athlete of the Year, 2005 National Senior Championships Outstanding Wrestler, 2003 CIS Rookie of the year, 2003 OUA Rookie of the year, 2003 CIS Fair Play Award.

World Teams: Junior Worlds- 13th, 2003 (55kg), FISU World Championships- 7th, 2004 (55kg), FISU World Games- 10th, 2005 (55kg), Senior World Championships- 22nd, 2005 (55kg).

International Highlights: GOLD- NYAC Tournament 2004, SILVER- Tropheo Milone 2005, Swiss Grand Prix 2006, BRONZE- German Grand Prix 2005, Dave Schultz Memorial 2005, FIFTH- Polish Grand Prix 2006, Medved/Belarus 2006.

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