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Adam Wheeler

Adam Wheeler

Adam Wheeler is a 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Grecco-Roman wrestling bronze medal for Team USA, who held numerous other international podium placements. After retiring from wrestling Wheeler turned to Brazilian jiu-jitsu where he achieved the rank of black belt and won a world title in the Masters division (over 30YO). A true renaissance man, outside his grappling life, Wheeler worked as a SWAT officer and firefighter, while also co-authoring a book named - Believe and Achieve: Overcoming Obstacles to Excel, a book in which Adam details how he went from starting as a high school freshman wrestler with a 1-15 record to winning an Olympic medal.

Adam Wheeler Wrestling


- 2nd Place University World Team Trials (2005)
- 2nd Place University Nationals (2004)
- 3rd Place University Nationals (2005)
- 10th World University Championship (2004)

- 3rd Place at Summer Olympics - Grecco (2008)
- 1st Place World Cup (2004)
- 1st Place Sunkist Kids Open (2004, 2007)
- 1st Place NYAC Holiday Championship (2005)
- 2nd Place US World Team Trials (2005, 2007)
- 2nd Place Petrov International (2005)
- 3rd Place US Nationals (2006)
- 2nd Place Dave Schultz Memorial (2007, 2008)
- 2nd Place Sunkist Kids Open (2006)
- 3rd Place US Nationals (2008)
- 3rd Place New York AC (2007)
- 3rd Place Sunkist Kids Open (2005)
- 4th Place US World Team Trials (2006)
- 4th Place US Olympic Team Trials (2004)
- 4th Place Dave Schultz Memorial (2006)
- 5th Place Dave Schultz Memorial (2004, 2005)
- 5th Place US Nationals (2004)

- 1st Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2014 - Open-Weight Masters Div)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2014 - Ultra-Heavyweight Masters Div)

Weight Division: 96 kg (senior)

- Lancaster High School
- Northern Michigan

Adam Wheeler Biography

Adam Wheeler was born on March 24, 1981, in Lancaster, California, United States.

Wheeler had a rough start at life, he was born with a rare blood disease named Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and nearly died as a baby from this condition. From there, things did not drastically improve for the Wheeler's as, by the time Adam was 3, his father left the family. With 3 young children to care for, Adam's mother struggled financially on a single-parent income, having to relocate frequently.

The unsteadiness of Adam's family life did not have a positive effect, and although he was a dedicated baseball player as a young child, by the time he entered high school Wheeler struggled from bad eating habits and excess weight, this being the core reason for him joining his school's wrestling class. Adam referenced in his aforementioned book “Believe and Achieve: Overcoming Obstacles to Excel”, that he was unable to do one single push-up or run a lap around the track at the time.

During Adam's first season at Lancaster High School as a junior varsity wrestler, he won 1 single match. Even though he enjoyed wrestling, Wheeler started drifting away from the sporting life when off the mats, drinking, smoking, and skipping school. His actions made him ineligible for the wrestling team and eventually, he dropped out of school altogether.

With the support of Wheeler's high school coach, who interceded on his behalf, Adam was able to attend a different school and make up for lost time, earning his way back to Lancaster High as a Junior, a season in which he earned a 37-7 wrestling record and a grant to participate at J Robinson's Intensive Camp.

After High-School Adam signed up for the US Coast Guard and was able to advance his wrestling career, particularly as a senior, eventually earning a place on the National Greco-Roman Olympic team, among many more honorable achievements.

Throughout his wrestling career, Wheeler also practiced jiu-jitsu, gaining interest in this sport/martial art by the influence of his brother who was an avid BJJ practitioner. After retiring from wrestling Adam invested more of his time on his submission-grappling game, earning his black belt rank from coach Lee Douglas (Carlos Machado lineage).

Wheeler would also become a jiu-jitsu coach in Colorado at the Prime BJJ Academy with instructor Marcelo Motta.