Neil deGrasse Tyson has no shortage of accolades to his name. He's a celebrated astrophysicist, best-selling author, social media star and one of the most influential people in science. But here’s one more title that you may not have expected: The 56-year-old scientist was once a decorated wrestler.
Last week, during the Television Critics Association press tour, Tyson chatted about his wrestling past with Total Nonstop Action wrestler Ken Anderson. Anderson promptly shared the news with his fans on Instagram, posting a vintage photograph of a young Tyson with this caption: “During our chat last night Neil Degrasse Tyson showed me this pic and revealed that he was an amateur wrestler in high school and college.”
In an interview last year with wrestling website Flowrestling, Tyson explained that he’d been an undefeated wrestler in high school, where he served as captain of the wrestling team. He went on to wrestle at Harvard as an undergraduate.
The lessons he learned as a wrestler, he said, made an indelible impression on him.
“Anyone who has wrestled knows that it’s the hardest thing in the world to do,” he told Flowrestling. “Anyone who says something else is the hardest thing has never wrestled. That’s what I have found. … You don't wrestle because it's easy, you wrestle because it's hard. I don't do astrophysics because it's easy, I do it because it's hard. And I juxtapose the two in my mind, body, and soul all the time.”
let's pause for a second to appreciate how badass a young Neil DeGrasse Tyson looked pic.twitter.com/oLAQwTQkh9
— taylor (@sailormouthed) August 5, 2014
Is there anything Tyson can’t do?