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ASD Wrestler Ahmadi Sheikeb to be Featured in ESPN Story

Ahmadi Sheikeb. Courtesy photo

ESPN will be filming footage of Ahmadi Sheikeb, a wrestler who attends the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, at a tournament over the weekend.


The American School for the Deaf (ASD) is excited to share the news that one of its remarkable students, Ahmadi Sheikeb, an Afghan refugee who enrolled at ASD in the spring of 2022, will be featured in an upcoming ESPN story.

ESPN will be sending a camera crew to the Western New England Wrestling Tournament at Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, MA on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, 2023.

New to the United States and to wrestling, Ahmadi has flourished in both the ASD community and on the wrestling mats. Currently holding a 16-2 record, Ahmadi will be participating as an exhibition athlete in this weekend’s competition. As an Associate Member of NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council), ASD students will not be able to score points, however, the experience is what Ahmadi looks forward to most.

When U.S. troops left Kabul, Ahmadi was separated from his family, eventually finding his way to Qatar and then the United States. Being deaf, in a new country, not knowing the language (he is fluent in a sign-language that differs some from ASL), Ahmadi has felt very alone at times. Wrestling was something that he and one of his brothers had always enjoyed, but they never had the opportunity to join an organized team.

Since ASD doesn’t have an active wrestling program, interim athletics director Christopher Di Santo reached out to Avon Old Farms head wrestling coach, John Bourgault, to come up with a plan. Partnering with Avon Old Farms and practicing with their team has offered Ahmadi training, comradery, and something more vital – though still separated from parents and siblings, he has found a new “family.”

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