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Smith and Baumgartner among 10 wrestling heroes named as charter members of FILA International Wrest



FILA, the international wrestling federation, has announced the individuals who will be inducted in its first class of honorees for the new FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame. There will be 10 individuals honored, based upon their outstanding achievements in international wrestling. FILA (Federation Internationale des Luttes Associees) is the international governing body for wrestling, with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Its president is Mr. Raphael Martinetti. "It is a great honor for FILA to announce the Hall of Fame members, truly the greatest wrestlers and leaders in our sport's history," said Mario Saletnig, FILA Vice President. "These wrestling heroes have distinguished themselves and deserve special recognition. We are very proud of their achievements and their impact on the sporting world." These great champions will be inducted into the FILA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the 2003 World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling in New York, N.Y., Sept. 12-14. They will also be displayed in the FILA Hall of Fame, which will be housed at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Okla. The FILA Internet Hall of Fame, when completed, will also recognized these Hall of Fame members and will be available to all worldwide via the internet. The individuals selected as FILA Hall of Fame members have won a combined 17 Olympic gold medals and 45 World Championship gold medals. The first class of FILA Hall of Fame inductees are: LEADERSHIP Mr. Milan Ercegan of Yugoslavia, FILA President (1972-2002) GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING Alexander Karelin of Russia, 3x Olympic gold medalist, 9x World gold medalist Imre Polyak of Hungary, 1x Olympic gold medalist, 3x World gold medalist Alexander Tomov of Bulgaria, 5x World gold medalist, 3x Olympic silver medalist Carl Westergren of Sweden, 3x Olympic gold medalist, 1x World gold medalist FREESTYLE WRESTLING Alexander Medved of former Soviet Union (now Belarus), 3x Olympic gold medalist, 7x World gold medalist Arsen Fadzaev of former Soviet Union (now Russia), 2x Olympic gold medalist, 7x World gold medalist Valentin Jordanov of Bulgaria, 1x Olympic gold medalist, 7x World gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner of the United States, 2x Olympic gold medalist, 3x World gold medalist John Smith of the United States, 2x Olympic gold medalist, 4x World gold medalist FILA INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES LEADERSHIP Mr. Milan Ercegan of Yugoslavia * FILA President (1972-2002) GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING Alexander Karelin of Russia * 3x Olympic gold medalist (1988, 1992, 1996) at 130 kg * 2000 Olympic silver medalist at 130 kg * 9x World gold medalist (1989-91, 1993-95, 1997-99) at 130 kg * Lost only one match in his entire international career, in 2000 Olympic finals * 12x European Champion at 130 kg (1988-96, 1998-2000) * 1987 World Cup champion at 130 kg * 1985 Espoir World Champion at 130 kg * Tied with Bruce Baumgartner for most World/Olympic medals with 13 Imre Polyak of Hungary * 1964 Olympic gold medalist at 63 kg * 3x World gold medalist (1955, 1958, 1962) at 62/63 kg * 3x Olympic silver medalist (1952, 1956, 1960) at 62 kg * 2x World silver medalist (1961, 1963) at 62/63 kg Alexander Tomov of Bulgaria * 5x World gold medalist (1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979) at +100 kg * 3x Olympic silver medalist (1972, 1976, 1980) at +100 kg * 5x European champion (1972, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1984) at +100 kg Carl Westergren of Sweden * 3x Olympic gold medalist (1920, 1924, 1932) at 75, 82.5 and +87 kg * 1922 World gold medalist at 75 kg * Fourth in 1924 Olympics in freestyle wrestling at 87 kg * 3x European Champion (1925, 1930, 1931) at 82.5 and 87 kg Passed away on 05 August, 1958 FREESTYLE WRESTLING Alexander Medved of former Soviet Union (now Belarus) * 3x Olympic gold medalist (1964, 1969, 1972) at 97 kg, +97 kg and +100 kg * 7x World gold medalist (1962-63, 1966-67, 1969-71) * 1965 World silver medalist at 97 kg * 1961 World bronze medalist at +87 kg * 3x European champion (1966, 1968, 1972) at +97 kg and 100 kg * Has served as president of the Belarus Wrestling Federation Arsen Fadzaev of former Soviet Union (now Russia) * 2x Olympic gold medalist (1988, 1992) at 68 kg * 6x World gold medalist (1983, 1985-87, 1990-91) at 68 kg * 1989 World silver medalist at 74 kg * 1981 Espoir World Champion at 57 kg *4x European Champion (1984-85, 1987-88) at 68 kg * 2x World Cup champion (1986-89) at 68 kg Valentin Jordanov of Bulgaria * 1996 Olympic gold medalist at 52 kg * 7x World gold medalist (1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993-95) at 52 kg * 1992 Olympic bronze medalist at 52 kg * 2x World silver medalist (1990-91) at 52 kg * 1986 World bronze medalist at 52 kg * 7x European champion (1982-83, 1985-89) at 52 kg * Currently president of the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation Bruce Baumgartner of the United States * 2x Olympic gold medalist (1984, 1992) at 130 kg * 3x World gold medalist (1986, 1993, 1995) at 130 kg * 1988 Olympic silver medalist at 130 kg * 1996 Olympic bronze medalist at 130 kg * 2x World silver medalist (1989, 1990) at 130 kg * 4x World bronze medalist (1983, 1985, 1987, 1994) at 130 kg * 8x World Cup champion (1984-86, 1989-91, 1994, 1997) at 130 kg * 3x Pan American Games champion (1987, 1991, 1995) at 130 kg * 1986 Goodwill Games champion at 130 kg * Tied with Alexander Karelin for most World/Olympic medals with 13 * Has served as president of USA Wrestling John Smith of the United States * 2x Olympic gold medalist (1988, 1992) at 62 kg * 4x World gold medalist (1987, 1989-91) at 62 kg * 2x Pan American Games champion (1987, 1991) at 62 kg * 1991 World Cup champion at 62 kg * 2x Goodwill Games champion (1986, 1990) at 62 kg John Smith, on being named as one of the 10 charter members of the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame: "It was a pleasant surprise. I was a humbling honor. I think of all the great wrestlers from all the nations who have been in the Olympics. There are some truly outstanding wrestlers. To be chosen as one of the first 10 is humbling. These are the kind of awards as an athlete that you enjoy the most, when your peers choose you. It makes it special when you are chosen by your peers."
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