Wrestling icon mourned
The city’s wrestling community was shocked last week with the sudden passing of former national champion Randeep Sodhi.
The 36-year-old executive member of the Hargobind Wrestling Club was admitted to hospital Thursday, passing away a day later.
“It happened so quick,” said Satnam Johal, president and founder of the Hargobind Club, and also Sodhi’s uncle. “We didn’t think it was serious, he didn’t think it was serious.
“He devoted most of his life to wrestling, both competing and giving back.”
Sodhi moved to Surrey from his native Williams Lake in 1986 to join the Hargobind club and train under Johal.
Sodhi won a national junior championship in 1993 in the 60 kg. weight class before wrestling as a senior in the 96 kg. category. He won a Commonwealth championship in 1997, a Greco Roman national championship in 2002 and a Freestyle Canadian title in 2002. In total, Sodhi was an eight-time medalist in national championship competition.
Once he retired from competition, he remained very active in the sport, serving as the program director at Hargobind Wrestling in Newton. He was also the tournament director of the Hargobind International event staged at the Guildford Recreation Centre, an annual event staged every November which attracted some of the best international wrestlers to compete for $35,000 in prize money.
“Randeep was not just a wrestler, but a man dedicated to driving the sport of wrestling further in to our community,” said Clint Kingsbury, domestic development manager with Wrestling Canada, in a statement. “He was focused on developing grassroots wrestling, but also had a passion for giving opportunities to high performance wresting as evidenced in Canada’s only cash award tournament (Hargobind International) of which he helped create and organize to form a world class event in Canada.”
Sodhi is survived by his father Darsem Sodhi, twin sister Harbneet, younger sisters Parbleen and Tajvin, uncle Satnam Johal and aunt Kalbinder Johal.
A funeral service will take place on Sunday, March 27 at the Riverside Funeral Home (7410 Hopcott Road, Delta) at 3 p.m. Prayers will follow at the Surrey Sikh temple at 72 Avenue and Scott Road.