Wrestlers aren’t only about sweat, mats and cutting weight. Senior Alex Picazo is both passionate about his sport but also has a quite a personality off the mat, which includes dancing at talent shows and always enjoying a good rerun of Seinfeld.
“That’s what I love about wrestling”
Picazo, a multi-talented athlete in high school, chose to wrestle in college.
“Wrestling is ultimately a test,” Picazo said. “It’s just you and another guy who’s willing to work harder for those seven minutes. It is the ultimate in you get what you put into it. That’s what I love about wrestling.”
Picazo is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten and OSU Scholar-Athlete honoree.
“I think they go hand-in-hand,” Picazo said. “I came to college to get a degree and wrestle. To me, you can’t really do one without the other.
“If you’re not eligible, then you’re not wrestling. If you’re going to class, then you need to put everything you’ve got into it. We’ve got an amazing opportunity to wrestle, go to Ohio State and get a great education, so you should get the most out of it.”
Bumps and Bruises
Athletic injuries can be devastating to a student-athlete. A grueling college wrestling career has taken its toll on the senior, but Picazo discovered several positives through the hardships.
“Injuries help you keep everything in perspective,” Picazo said. “Enjoy life while you can because something can always happen. It is the same with wrestling. It makes you work hard in practice because maybe the next day you may spring your ankle. It teaches you how to overcome obstacles.”
Picazo has experienced two different coaching staffs during his time at Ohio State. Current head coach Tom Ryan has stepped in the last two seasons.
“I loved our old coaching staff, but with Tom Ryan coming in, it was like a new ignited fire,” Picazo said. “This is an excellent time at Ohio State; everyone is looking to really bring this program to a new level.”
His Funny Side
Picazo is a long-standing fan of television’s Seinfeld, based on the life of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. It may be the distinctive beat of the show’s intro music or it could be its witty tone that lures Picazo.
“They always say it’s a show about nothing, but I think it’s a show about real life,” Picazo said. “Every fan of that show says that’s something that happened to me. It makes you think about your own life and puts a kind of humor into your own life that you can relate to.”
Is that Cyndi Lauper?
“Time after Time” and “Crack that Whip” were just a few of the songs the wrestling team danced to en route to winning the student-athlete talent show last spring.
“We will try and do it again this year,” Picazo said. “It will be tough to think of something that will top last year. It was an opportunity to show everyone a different side of the wrestling team that we’re not just a group of guys that work hard on the mats.”
The Journey from Here
The days of balancing wrestling and schoolwork and dancing to Cyndi Lauper are near an end as Picazo puts the finishing touches on his athletics career and hits the stretch run toward a degree in business.
“I think I’ve done a good job at building my resume and getting good grades,” Picazo said. “I’m not trying to stress out too much, I’m just going to get through the season and see where my options are.”