Neil deGrasse Tyson Was an Undefeated Wrestling Captain and Wrestled for Harvard


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Neil deGrasse Tyson is a certified badass. 


You probably know Neil deGrasse Tyson from his work in science, as the host of the Fox remake of Cosmos, or at the very least as the “We got a badass over here” meme. He’s clearly a guy who appreciates a challenge and to push himself to the limits intellectually. What you may not know is that he has a deep appreciation for amateur wrestling, where he would push himself to the limits physically.

“Wrestling is the hardest thing to do. Anyone who says something else is the hardest thing, has never wrestled.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

He was the captain of his high school wrestling team, and competed on Harvard’s wrestling squad while majoring in physics.


A young Tyson throwing down on the mats.

“A wrestling match is just the laws of physics. Where is the tipping point? Where is the center of mass? What are the support forces? And that’s how I thought about it.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil is so passionate about space and physics that it’s contagious, almost makes you wish you paid attention in school. Almost.

“I wanted to invent a new move called the double tidal lock. Because in space, two objects can orbit one another and one can use tidal forces to lock it so it always shows the same face. Earth has done that to the moon. The moon only shows the same face to Earth. We have tidally locked the moon. I wanted some kind of wrestling move where I tidally lock the person. I never came up with one, though.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Amateur wrestling has faced challenges over the years, and has a rocky road ahead of it, but it’s good to know there are literal geniuses like Neil deGrasse Tyson being vocal with their support for the sport.

Wrestling dates back to the dawn of civilization.

Wrestling dates back to the dawn of civilization.

“I will be a great defender of this sport.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

See Neil’s love letter to wrestling on the next page:

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