Vitali Arujau, frequently known as Vito, is an American freestyle and Folkstyle wrestler who competes at 57kg (125 lbs). He was born in Gomel, Belarus and moved to the United States with his family at the age of two. Vito’s family is filled to the brim with accomplished athletes, which is one of his strongest motivations.
His mother, Zhanna Arujava, and his father, Vougar Oroudjov, were both remarkable athletes who competed for former USSR, as well as other countries including Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Zhanna was on the USSR national team for solo’s kayaking but stopped competing after the birth of Naryman (Nick), Vito’s oldest brother. Vougar was a very accomplished wrestler, finishing his career with two senior level world gold medals as well as a bronze in the 1992 Olympics. Vougar’s resume also includes triumphs such as being European Games champion, Yurigan champion, and a national team member veteran.
Nick was a 3x state champ wrestler in New York as well as a Cornell University alumnus who competed on varsity in three seasons for the Big Red. Vito’s youngest brother, George, is currently in high school with two appearances in the NY state tournament, with a best finish of second place.
Vito started wrestling at the age of ten, sided by his father who has been his coach ever since. Ironically, Vito did not immediately fall in love with the sport when his father introduced it to him; in fact, Vito’s father often bribed him into going to practice. Vito’s connection to wrestling began after three years of extensive training, when he started seeing results. His trajectory skyrocketed as he took second at the NY state tournament as an 8th grader, losing to current teammate Yianni Diakomihalis in the finals in triple overtime.
Vito seemed to have taken the loss personally, as he went on to go undefeated throughout his entire high school wrestling career. He made the Cadet world team, won silver at the Cadet World Championships, and won first place in various national level tournaments including Super 32, Fargo, and Virginia Beach.