Despite Being Terminally Ill, Wirs Makes History

On April 17, 2014

Pete Wirs at age 59, became the oldest person to have his first sanctioned wrestling bout in a national or world championship, at the USA Wrestling's Veterans (Masters) National. Championship in Las Vegas, NV.  Wirs lost the bout to Kevin Hejnal in only 12.4 seconds, but the audience gave Wirs a standing ovation for making history. Wirs improved in his second bout, requiring Steve Contarino an additional 11 seconds to down Wirs.

On April 27, 2017

Pete Wirs became the first American, the first male, and the first wrestler, to compete in a non-Paralympic event, suffering from Mito. Wirs joins Sophie West of Great Britain in Swimming, as the only athletes to compete in non-Paralympic sports suffering from Mito. Joe Wise, of the US, also in Swimming competed in Paralympics (with West), but never in regular competition.  Wirs however, lost his first bout due to a dislocated shoulder at 2:48 in the first period of his first bout against Jeff Jacobs.

On May 20, 2017

Wirs makes Sports history again, becoming the first person ever to become a National Champion being terminally ill with Mito, at the USA Wrestling's Beach Wrestling Nationals in Carolina Beach, N.C.  Winning by default due to no formal competition, Wirs went up against veteran Rusty Davidson in a best of 3 exhibition bouts. 

On November 18, 2017

Wirs ran his first race, the AACR Rothman 8K during the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. Wirs' time was 58:04 Net, 59:06 Clock, at a 11.40 Pace.

On May 13, 2018

Wirs becomes the first registered terminally ill person to run the world-famous Philadelphia Broad Street Run, the nation's largest 10 mile race. Wirs finished 2:13:59, placing 484 out 525 men age 60-65. (Photograph -showing ACS Team Determination at the Starting Line, courtesy of American Cancer Society) 

On May 19, 2018

Wirs becomes the first person ever to become a back-to-back National Champion despite being terminally ill with Mito, at the USA Wrestling's 2018 Beach Wrestling Nationals in Carolina Beach, N.C.  But more important, Wirs broke through a critical psychological barrier in the sport by winning his very first competitive bout against Ryan Dillion, an 18-year old All-State opponent in the exhibition bouts.  

On June 24, 2018

His Interdisciplinary Medical Team pulled Pete Wirs from the June 24th Philly Triathlon because (1) air passage blockage issue has not been resolved to the doctors' satisfaction and (2) the medical community wouldn't be getting the appropriate press coverage due to lack of City logistical support.  

On July 27, 2018

On Saturday, July 27, 2018, Pete Wirs won another gold medal at the Keystone State Games in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Because competitors at his age were not at his weight (177 lbs), Wirs drew a 20-year old opponent. Wirs "kinda" got clobbered in the first bout suffering a fall at .58, drew a tie 0-0 in the second bout before literally running out of oxygen (due to the Mito and related medical problems) and at least scored an escape point in a loss in the third bout. Wirs got a standing ovation from the fans after the first bout.

On August 12, 2018

 On Sunday, August 12, 2018, Pete Wirs scored his first fall, pinning a 20-year old U.S. Army staff Sargent from Ft. Campbell, KY, at 1:56 after leading 11-1, at the Pin Cancer Nationals, Easton, PA.  Wirs lost his first bout, 4-2, and won the second bout by default.  Defeating an opponent by pin is a critical benchmark for any wrestler. The fans inside the Easton Middle School gave Wirs a standing ovation and fans of all ages came up to congratulate the  "old head" competitor!


On October 18, 2018

Wirs became the first terminally-ill Paralympic to finish a marathon (26.2 miles) at the Nov. 18, 2018 AACR Philadelphia Marathon with a 6:45:36 Finishing Time and a 15.28 Pace.  Wirs placed  by 61-65 age 171 of 178, 5,328 of 5,371 males, and 9,412 of 9,516 runners.


Wirs is now classified as a PC-Open or "Muscle-Power Impaired" Paralympic.

ultiple Paralympics have run marathons, and a terminally-ill (Stage 4) cancer patient ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013, there is no record that a terminally ill PC-Open Paralympic competing in any marathon. It is because of the Mitochondrial Disease what renders Wirs Muscle-Powered Impaired.

On December 1, 2018

Wirs will battle wrestlers from around the world to help get USA out of 4th place and back into First place in the Veterans Class F&G World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

On April 24-25, 2019

Wirs is ready to return to the US Masters Nationals, in Las Vegas, NV this time ready to medal.  Not only will he face his arch rival Kevin Hejnal, but multiple US and World Champion Bruce Moe (North Dakota) moves into Wirs' age class.