Olympic Wrestling Team Captain
March 9, 2022
John Matthews is a master of resilience. He came from a large family of 11 kids, but when his mother died when he was only five his father was left to care for all of them by himself, and that family was shattered and broken up. His father was unable to handle the burden and the kids were declared “Wards of The State of Michigan”, and placed in state care. So he was shuttled through a series of foster homes, and in many ways left adrift. He was in three foster homes between ages 5 and 12, and he had absolutely no idea where any of his siblings were. But he persevered.
Competing at Whittier Junior High and Flint Central High School, Matthews found his focus in the sport of wrestling. He was a natural, and he had a tremendous work ethic to accompany that natural skill and talent. Once he started competing he knew he had found the elixir. He finished as the greatest wrestler in Flint Central history, and went on to Central Michigan University for a Hall of Fame career. From there his accomplishments only grew, including:
Matthews later had to overcome the untimely death of his beloved wife to lung cancer. Matthews says “When you are down and you can’t get up, get up anyway!” His life has been a testimony to the power of positive thinking, positive action, and a ‘never say quit’ mentality that is the very essence of what it means to be a Flintstone. Join Fish and Olympian John Matthews for his life story and a motivational jump in to the lively waters of the Aquarium of “Fish and The Flint Chronicles.”