December 21, 2003
Grappler dies in his sleep
By NADIA MOHARIB, CALGARY SUN

Mike Lozanski lived his dream as a professional wrestler and was just battling back from injuries which sidelined his career when he died unexpectedly in his sleep. "We grew up watching Stampede Wrestling. He just loved it," his grieving brother Christopher, also a wrestler, said yesterday.

"His life was wrestling."

The well-liked grappler, who died Thursday at the age of 35, was training for a comeback after recent health woes, including a severe neck injury a few years ago.

"He was on the road back to recovery, so we all thought. Nobody saw it coming," he said.

"On top of being a wrestler he would give the shirt off his back to anyone ... losing my brother so young has taught me how precious life is and to really appreciate your loved ones."

His family is awaiting autopsy results, but has been told a heart condition or fluid in the lungs may be to blame in Mike's death.

Ross Hart, of Stampede Wrestling fame, remembers Mike's early days in the ring -- before he toured the world and then made his way back to Calgary in 1997.

"He had his start in Calgary and made a lot of friends in the industry. I'm very sorry to hear about his death," Hart said.

Veteran Winnipeg-based promoter Tony Condello, who met Mike in the early 1990s, was sad to hear of the wrestler's fate.

"In those days he had a lot of talent. He was young, very polite and always well-dressed, with brand-new cars and a lady who loved him," he said, recalling Mike's early wrestling years.

Mike is survived by his son Dustin, daughter Kassie, parents Marlene and Walter, brother Christopher, sister-in-law Nicole and nephew, Lex.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church at 1600 Acadia Dr. S.E. on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Tributes made be made to the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, a charity his family -- seeing many in the wrestling world battle with drug abuse -- felt he would want to support.



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