Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
While his Olympic dreams are on hold in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, Nico Megaludis continues his everyday grind, which includes a fulltime career as a financial advisor in a family-owned business.
“We are really busy during this time. There is a lot of worry for people when it comes to a pandemic like this, especially financially,” Megaludis said. “There’s a history of financial crises like this and they’ll happen again someday, so we try to put plans together for people to position themselves well when something like this happens in the future.”
Outside of his crazy work days, Megaludis still finds time to stay on top of his training.
“I wake up, workout, then work, then workout, and that’s pretty much my life right now,” he said. “I’m finding new things to get better at. With all this quarantine time, you figure out new exercises and things that your body can adapt to. It’s actually kind of fun for me because I can expose weak areas and get better and find new ways to do that. That’s the cool thing about all of this.”
A 2016 NCAA champion for Penn State at 125 pounds, Megaludis continued his wrestling career upon graduating, wrestling the 2016 and 2017 freestyle seasons at 57 kg (125.4 lbs.). In 2018 and 2019, he bumped up to 61 kg (134.2 lbs.), and around that time, he signed on to train with the Pittsburgh Wrestling Club RTC, bringing him back to his hometown.
Because 61 kg is not an Olympic weight, Megaludis decided to move back down to 57 kg for the Olympic year, an easy decision for him.
“I never really cut weight in college to make 125 pounds,” Megaludis said. “During my sophomore and junior years, if I came in too light, the coaches would have me mop the mats. For the Olympic year, I decided to go back down to 57. My body is adapted to 57, and I’m probably lighter than most of the guys at the weight. I think I wrestled really well at 61 kg, and I felt great. Moving down to 57, I want to win. You dream about going to the Olympics, not getting second at the Olympic Trials.”
Some are skeptical that he can effectively balance a fulltime career while being an elite athlete and pursuing Olympic goals. But Megaludis is confident in his ability to be successful at both at the same time.
“I’ve been balancing work and wrestling for four years now, since I graduated from Penn State, Megaludis said. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve really gotten a good schedule down. I know my priorities. It’s not easy but I like to make things challenging. People think that my business takes away from my wrestling, but they’re completely wrong. If anything, it helps because I’m the type of person that likes to get stuff done. It’s hard for me to sit still. Work and wrestling go hand-in-hand for me.”