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When John Tenta left sumo wrestling, 1986

In July 1986, a young John Tenta announced he was leaving a promising sumo wrestling career. The Canadian wrestler had his reasons and he shared them with CBC’s Midday a few days after making his announcement.

“There’s a lot of demands and a lot of pressure put on you,” Tenta told Midday. “I had to answer to guys that were much younger than me, I had to do anything that my senior wrestlers asked me.”

Tenta said many of his days began before dawn and involved harsh training, sumo competition and other duties that lasted until the evening.

“I had a good time, I have become well-known in Japan. I enjoyed myself and now it’s opened doors for other opportunities,” Tenta told Midday.

In fact, Tenta would soon return to Japan to pursue professional wrestling, just not of the sumo variety.

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