The following press release is distributed by The Friends of Long Island Wrestling.
Mo Tavakolian is universally recognized as an integral force on the international wrestling scene. His global accomplishments, whether on behalf of seasoned Olympic wrestlers or young children experiencing our sport for the first time, serve as a world-wide commemoration to the great sport of wrestling. Wrestling federations throughout the world attest to Mo’s impact in advancing our sport and enhancing opportunities for wrestling participants all over the globe.
Mo came to the United States in 1986. As a new immigrant from Iran living in Great Neck, Long Island, Hooman began collecting equipment, specifically wrestling shoes, some of which he purchased, to redistribute to students in the community where he ran clinics for youngsters. By 1988, Hooman coached wrestling and offered free clinics at his community center in Great Neck, Long Island. Here he raised money for youngsters to attend camp in the summer. He also acted as a volunteer coach at Private Schools where he was actively teaching wrestling in gym classes and at recess.
He wrestled at Great Neck South High School on Long Island where he earned the Student Scholar Athlete of the Year Award in 1994. This was an extraordinary accomplishment because he did not know any English when he arrived, only eight years prior to receiving this honor.
In 1996, Hooman started club wrestling at Hunter College where he was a volunteer and raised money for the purchase of gear for students participating at the club. He was the Metropolitan Conference runner-up in 1998 and was also a Trenton Open Champion. Mo maintained his affiliation with Hunter College and served as the assistant wrestling coach from 2000-2003.
He continued to improve his wrestling skills at the New York Athletic Club, serving as vice president of the NYAC since 2010. The desire to compete culminated in back-to-back Veteran National Championships in 2009 and 2010. He also earned a spot on the USA veteran world team and competed in Hungary in 2012.
Beat the Streets Wrestling, Inc. recently elected Mo to its Board of Trustees. Mo co-founded the Become Your Own Dream Scholarship Fund, which provides needed financial assistance to a college bound Beat the Streets athlete. He is also a prolific fundraiser for Beat the Streets helping to ensure that all have an opportunity to participate in the sport of wrestling. Mo’s assistance is not limited to New York City youth. In order to better serve the disadvantaged wrestling youth of the world, Mo founded a global outreach program that supplies wrestling shoes and gear to remote regions of the world such as Iran, Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania.
Mo’s actions on the international stage have been at the forefront of our sport. His relationship with Iran has been crucial in convincing Iran to compete in the United States. The most crucial effort may have been the help he provided in bringing Iran to the Beat the Streets Gala event, Rumble on the Rails, in 2013. Olympic wrestling’s life was at stake that year and the ability to demonstrate a unity across nations was paramount in demonstrating to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the importance of wrestling.
Perhaps the greatest honor bestowed upon Mo has been his invitation to the White House in April of 2016. Mo was named “A prominent Iranian-American Making a Difference”. Mo Tavakolian is certainly deserving of this highly exclusive honor. We are proud to honor him for his tireless efforts on behalf of the world-wide wrestling community and welcome Mo Tavakolian into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.