Vougar Oroudjov was born on October 26, 1971, in Yeviakh, Azerbaijan. He is the son of Nariman and Ema Ibragivmoa Oroudjov. He has a sister Arkinaz, and two brothers, Elgar and Eldar. Vougar is the proud grandson of Edris Oroudjov, beloved mayor of the City of Yeviakh, who died a war hero in 1943 while fighting the Nazis in Poland during WWII.
Vougar received his bachelor degree from North Ossetian State University, Vladikavkaz University, Russia, where he studied economics from 1991 to 1996. During college, Vougar met his future wife Russian national kayak champion, Zhanna Sarnauskaya, of Masyr, Belarus, Russia. Vougar and Zhanna met at the Dinamo Athletic School dormitory in Gomel City, Belarus, Russia. They married shortly after and have three sons named Nariman (Nick), Vitali (Vito), and George. Zhanna and Vougar are now expecting their first grandchild (Nick and Elisa Flores Oroudjov) in January.
Vougar started wrestling in 1984, at age 13. He had two practices a day and never missed a practice. In 1986, at age 15, Vougar started competing at the national level and took second in the Republic of Azerbaijan. By 1987, Vougar moved up a level and took second at Cadet Nationals in the Republic of Georgia. Vougar said, “I learned from my mistakes” and, in 1988, he won Cadet Nationals in Ossetia and the European Championships in Bursa, Turkey. In 1989 he won the Junior Nationals in Kemerovo, Siberia. Also in 1989, Vougar placed second in Junior World Championships in Mongolia. One year later, in 1990, Vougar went on to win the Russian Junior National Championship and the European Championships, Helsinki, Finland.
In 1991, the champ continued his winning streak at the senior level, competing at 48 kg. That year, Vougar won Senior Nationals held in the Ukraine, but he took third in the European Championships in Stuttgar, Germany. Vougar said, “I learned from my mistakes made in Germany,” and came back to defeat the European Champion and earned the World Champion belt in his win at Senior World Championships, Bulgaria. In 1992, Vougar had a busy and another successful year, winning the Russian National Championship in Moscow, placed second at the European Championship in Hungary, and then went on to win a bronze medal representing Russia in the Olympics, Barcelona, Spain. In 1993, Vougar took second at the Senior World Championships in Toronto, Canada, losing to a Cuban wrestler. In 1994, continuing to learn from his mistakes, Vougar won the Russian National Championships in Moscow, and was also a Good Will Games Champion, held in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1995, he was again a Russian National Champion, St. Petersburg, Russia, the European Champion, Switzerland, World Cup Champion, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and again the World Champion, Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, Vougar took third place at the European Championships, Hungary, and took fourth at the Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia. Vougar finished up his career wrestling for the German league and Russian Art Club in 1999.
In 1999, Vougar started his coaching career in Ossetia, Russia. Shortly after he started coaching, Vougar’s wife Zhanna won the green card lottery and soon they migrated to California, but without their children. After getting settled in California, they sent for Nick and Vito, who then joined them in California. When the boys came to the United States, the Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, like was done with many immigrants through the years, gave the Oroudjov family different spellings — Oroudjov, Arujava, and Arujau.
From 2000 to 2003, Vougar coached at Lassen Junior College in Susanville, CA. After their short stay in California, Zhanna, Vougar, Nick, and Vito arrived on Long Island, where their third son, George, was born. He started Vougar’s Honors Wrestling School (VHW) in Syosset, New York, and also joined the wrestling coaching staff at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. It was time to teach his sons and the rest of the Long Island wrestling community the Russian style of wrestling.
Vougar has increased the wrestling IQ on Long Island by challenging LI wrestlers to attend his centrally located daily year-round wrestling program that has developed several multiple NYS High School Champions, National Champions, and Fargo Champions. His son Nick is a three- time NYS Champion and Vito is a four-time NYS Champion, Fargo Champion, and recently took second at Junior World Championships, Tallinn, Estonia. After Vito’s second place finish at Junior Worlds, Vougar told his son, “learn from your mistakes, Vito.”
As a man from a small city in Azerbaijan, it’s been a life journey to get to Syosset, NY, and live the American dream. Vougar is proud that the hard work by his sons Nick and Vito gave them the opportunity to attend school and wrestle at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. A proud Ivy League wrestling father, this past season Vougar was heard by many in Pittsburgh cheering for his son Vito, who became an NCAA Division I All-American.
Vougar holds at least two practices a day, camps, and is open seven days a week at his VHW School/Club. Vougar continues to inspire young wrestlers and the student athletes wrestlers who spend hours practicing during the “off” season and also learning and competing — nationally and internationally — in freestyle tournaments. Many of the VHW wrestlers continue to wrestle for Vougar at Nassau Community College, where he was recently named Head Wrestling Coach. Not only will the NCC wrestlers learn the Russian style of wrestling, but they will know the importance of learning from their mistakes not only in wrestling, but also in life.