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‘Back out on the mat’: Wrestler Pat Glory ’23 competes through gap year

<h5>Patrick Glory competing during his sophomore year.</h5>
<h6>Lisa Elfstrum / GoPrincetonTigers</h6>
Patrick Glory competing during his sophomore year.
Lisa Elfstrum / GoPrincetonTigers

Two-time All-American wrestler, Patrick Glory ’23, has made the best of this past year despite losing a season to the pandemic.

Along with many of his teammates, Glory decided to take a gap year in response to COVID-19. He has been interning at a private-equity firm focused on real estate, in line with his economics concentration at Princeton.

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Glory has continued training to keep himself in shape, though he says a lack of competition has made it harder.

“It’s very hard to be motivated to train the same way without a goal in mind, without having a competition that’s kind of motivating you to be at your best,” Glory explained. “So like, that’s always been a struggle for me — training without having a goal and purpose in mind.”

Recently, however, Glory has been training for the last chance qualifiers of the Olympic trials. Olympic-style wrestling, however, feels like a completely different sport to him. With a different way of scoring and a different style of wrestling at hand, Glory is focusing his energy on  mastering the skills necessary to get him to his goal.

“You have to win the last chance qualifier just to be able to compete in the Olympic team trials, then once you win that, in order for you to go to the Olympics, you have to qualify your weight at a qualifying tournament internationally,” he said. “So there’s three steps I have to go through, all of which are going to be harder than the next.”

Glory is up for the challenge, training harder than ever to be able to compete at the highest level. Occasionally, after working, he will make the drive back to his hometown, Randolph, N.J., to wrestle with an old friend. On other days, he runs on the treadmill and lifts to maintain his strength.

Glory has also been training with some of his other Princeton teammates at the New Jersey Regional Training Center (NJRTC). Glory found the NJRTC after hearing about other Ivy League teams, such as Cornell and Penn, participating in local competitions through the center.

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Although not affiliated with Princeton athletics, the gap year wrestlers signed up for the local team to participate in competitions, many of which are with other Ivy League students. Back in November, they were able to compete in Omaha, Neb., and currently have two tournaments approaching in February and March against other wrestlers from Cornell and Penn.

While Glory is thankful for being able to compete in the first place, he expresses his disappointment in not being able to do so with the Princeton team in an official tournament. Under the rules of the social contract, enrolled wrestlers on campus are not able to train and compete with Glory and other gap year students. While Glory is developing strong bonds with the teammates he is living with, he still says he misses being with his entire team.

Although Glory didn’t have a say in getting the season swept right out from under him, he has taken control of his life during his gap year.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to even do it, to even be able to compete. Right now with all this stuff going on. I’m just excited to get back out on the mat and, you know, throw the singlet back on and see what happens.”

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From working to further his education and job experience to training in preparation for future seasons and Olympic qualifiers, Patrick Glory is working nonstop towards his goals.

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