NC wrestler with cerebral palsy overcomes limitations


GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — When you first think of a wrestler, you probably picture a guy with a muscular build and a lot of body weight.

While that may be true for some, it wasn’t for Wyatt Cigliano.

“I really fell in love with the sport and said I’m going to do it,” Wyatt said.

Born with cerebral palsy, Wyatt has spent his life overcoming limitations.

“He was told early on that he might never walk,” said Millicent Bullins, his mother.

But Wyatt never took no for an answer. What Wyatt lacks in size, he makes up for in heart

“I said, ‘You know what? We will try to do it,” he said.

When the idea of ​​joining the wrestling team came up, there was no doubt that he would dominate the track.

“I never told him he couldn’t do anything,” his mom said. “Just let him try. He may need more time. It might take him a few tries to get something or achieve something, but I just let him do it.”

So Wyatt took all 64 pounds of his body to coach Rob Burchfield and told him he wanted to join the team.

“He comes up to me and says…’coach, I want to wrestle this year,'” Coach Birchfield said. “I said, ‘Great! Maybe you’ll wash my clothes, get me some water, and so on.’ And he immediately let me know: I want to fight.”

From that moment on, he was at full strength.

“He’s the guy who shows up to practice first and is the last to leave every day,” Coach Birchfield said.

And the team supported him every step of the way.

“All the wrestlers at the beginning of the season came together and it was like no one was going to pick on him,” Wyatt’s mom said. “No one will make fun of him. If they do, we will simply give up the fight.”

During his first season, Wyatt did not miss a single practice. He strengthened not only strength, but also determination.

“In practice, I really have to say, ‘I’m not going to throw,'” Wyatt said.

“It changed him as a person,” Coach Birchfield said. “It’s true. It gives him some sort of confidence, but it’s just…uh

In just one season, Wyatt went from not knowing any wrestling techniques to getting the crowd pumped up every time he stepped on the mat.

“I just believe in myself,” he said proudly.

This belief is what took Watt from being unable to walk to pinning his opponent.

“He always had a go, and that’s how he got as far as he did,” his mom said.

And even though he’s come this far, there’s still a lot more to come. While he’s finishing his first season, he made it clear it won’t be his last.

“My goal is to win … as many matches as possible and get better,” he said of his future. “And hopefully one day… I’ll be better.”

NC wrestler with cerebral palsy overcomes limitations

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