FREESTYLE wrestler Farzad Tarash and his family arrived in Australia from Iran in 1998, carving out a peaceful life in the multicultural western suburbs.
Well, that was away from the wrestling mat, of course.
As the nation's only wrestling representative, Tarash (pictured) will literally be the Australian wrestling team at the Olympic Games in London, having caused a ruckus at international events during the past four years.
Tarash told the Weekly of his pride not only to be able to represent his nation but in going in to battle for Melbourne's west and his hometown of Sydenham, which welcomed his family with open arms nearly 15 years ago.
"It's a great area," Tarash said. "I'm proud to be a western suburbs boy. It'd be the best present to the community if I could bring back a medal."
Tarash has warned his opposition in the 60-kilogram freestyle division of his intentions to strive for gold.
The 25-year-old has left no stone unturned, with a seven-day-a-week training schedule.
In the prime of his career, Tarash now has the big-event experience under his belt to draw on.
"I qualified through a tough competition in Africa. I have trained very hard over the past two years; I'm not holding back."
Tarash began wrestling at the age of 12.
The sport was already a fixture in the family with his dad, Parviz, a national champion in his native country and his two elder brothers involved in low-level competitions.
Tarash says his his younger brother Mehrdad, another Olympic hopeful, has been important in his development as a wrestler.
The brothers practised in their backyard.
"He's very young and talented," Tarash said. "He's in a weight division heavier, and that helps.
"The last three to four months my brother has pushed me all the way."
Tarash will be in a unique situation when he arrives in the Olympic village.
The Seddon-trained star has no other local wrestlers to mingle with, being the lone Australian representative.
That has called for an unconventional preparation, where he will enter training camp and use the facilities of the Iran national team in the lead-up.
Tarash is thankful for the invitation from his country of birth, where he will face warm-up matches against wrestlers he could potentially meet on the mat in London.
"The feeling, I can't describe," he says. "It's unbelievable. I'm counting down the days. If it had to be tomorrow, I'm ready to go. It's going to be huge."