Mike Powell was a champion wrestler at Oak Park and River Forest High School, going 42-0 in during his senior season. He came back to the school as head wrestling coach and built the struggling team into a statewide powerhouse. But now, personally, he's facing the toughest match of his life. Powell was diagnosed with polymyositis, an inflammatory disease of the muscles.

Adversity can either make a person stronger, or break them. In Mike's case, he is much stronger now than he's ever been.

Full blog post:


The footage in this piece was used as part of a greater story (20 minute piece) entitled, "Man In Full" for the NBC Sports Network show, Sports Illustrated. We were asked to film the final day of Mike's Wrestling camp by the folks at NBC. We filmed as comprehensive a story as possible, complete with interview and coverage of the final moments Mike shared with his wrestlers.

Here is our own personal edit of Mike's story.

For an amazing read, check out Mike's story on


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