Download our Mobile App                  

  Search The Site
Top News Stories... moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....

Distinguished Member - MATT GHAFFARI, Avon Lake, Ohio

Born in Tehran, Iran, Matt Ghaffari grew into a true American hero and set the standard by which all future U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers would be judged.

Ghaffari immigrated to the United States as a teenager, settling in New Jersey and competing for Paramus High School. He started his collegiate career at Fairleigh Dickinson University before finding a home at Cleveland State University, where he fashioned a solid if unspectacular 56-11-2 record and as a senior set a school record for pins.

After graduation, Ghaffari stepped into the world of international freestyle wrestling, rising as high as No. 2 in the U.S. rankings, and placing fourth at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials. In 1989, he changed directions, adding Greco-Roman wrestling to his repertoire. By 1990, Ghaffari had won his first U.S. National title, made his first U.S. Greco-Roman World team, and quickly became one of the best super heavyweights in the world.

Ghaffari is currently the only American to win a combined four World and Olympic medals in Greco-Roman, placing second at the 1991 World Championships, third in 1995, and second in 1998. A two-time Olympian, he is best remembered for his silver-medal performance at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where he took Alexander Karelin, Russia’s seemingly invincible superstar, into overtime before falling, 1-0. On the awards stand, he captured America’s heart as he saluted the flag of his adopted homeland with tears streaming down his face.

In all, Ghaffari won six national Greco-Roman championships, four World Cups, two Pan-American Games, seven Pan-American championships (including double titles in 1989-90), and 13 Grand Prix tournament titles. He represented his adopted country six times in World Championships and was twice named the United States Olympic Committee Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year.

For advancing Greco-Roman wrestling through significant and groundbreaking achievements, Matt Ghaffari is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Untitled Document
© Copyright 2000-2019 USA Wrestling, All rights reserved.
Contents of this site may not used without the expressed written consent of USA Wrestling.