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Chicagoan honored by wrestlers group
2018-09-09

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Wrestlers WithOut Borders has selected the 2018 winners of its two highest honors: the Dermody Citizenship Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners and five new inductees to the WWB Hall of Merit were celebrated at the Gay Games in Paris.

Berlin's Michael "Mitch" Ertel was named winner of WWB's Dermody Citizenship Award and Sydney's Barry Webb the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Being inducted to the Hall of Merit will be Cameron Inthapangna of Melbourne, Gus Scheerbaum of Philadelphia, Rob Smitherman of Chicago, Josh Watkins of San Francisco and Nick Zymaris of New York City.

"The 2018 list of inductees into the Hall of Merit is one of the most diverse in terms of contributions to WWB's mission," said WWB Chair Chris Lorefice. "We're also pleased to be giving the Dermody Citizenship Award to Michael 'Mitch' Ertel from Berlin, who has contributed so much to making the Einsteiger club in Berlin so successful, been extremely active in LGBT sports in Europe, and puts on a phenomenal wrestling camp each year that welcomes many international LGBT wrestlers. Barry Webb, who was already in our Hall of Merit, helped keep Harbour City Wrestling Club alive and relevant through many tough years to become the rising powerhouse it is today."

Inthapangna is one of the founding members and officers of the Melbourne Wranglers, which competed in its first Gay Games in Paris. Scheerbaum, Watkins and Zymaris have been important leaders in their respective clubs, with Zymaris also reviving the popular Hillside Wrestling Weekend and Watkins serving as a wrestling official.

Smitherman is not a wrestler, but was of invaluable assistance to WWB as a sports coordinator in Gay Games VII-IX, served as a WWB delegate to the Federation of Gay Games, and has volunteered in WWB's fundraising efforts.


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