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Celebrating Dave Schultz

Celebrating Dave Schultz

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Marysville, OH– History remembers Dave Schultz as one of America’s all-time greats. He was an NCAA champ, Olympic champion, and a seven-time World and Olympic medalist. Despite his numerous wrestling accolades, Dave’s friends enthusiastically praise him for his genuine good nature and generous spirit.

Dave and Valvo

It seems as if everyone that knew him has a testimonial or a story to tell. People remembered not only his awards and titles gained as a wrestler, but also as “the man that he was”. Dave was larger than life, and undoubtedly, a truly unique person. Most people are lucky to have one or two best friends in their lifetime, but Dave was radically different. He was one of those rare people who seem to have ten thousand best friends. He made everyone feel important. When you were with him, he was genuinely interested in you, in what you were doing in your life, and how he could help.

Many say that he had a natural flair for wrestling. Right from the get-go, Dave was a top-notch wrestler. While he was in high school, people already saw olympic potential. Winning the prestigious Tbilisi tournament in Russia as a high school senior surely validated that sentiment. Fans around the world admired his technique. They loved his attitude, and willingness to share his knowledge.

 

Dave on the Mat

Schultz had a phenomenal attention to detail. For him, position was everything. Dave explained, “Wrestling is all about position. It’s critically important for you to know where you are – not just your body, but your mind as well.”

Dave also had a tremendous mind, possessing many unique qualities that gave him the drive and the ability to become the United States’ greatest technical wrestler ever. He did not like to lose. He was consumed with being the best, and believed that learning more and better technique was the key to reaching that goal. Although Dave may not have been the best at “book” knowledge, his spatial skills were excellent. He could immediately pick up techniques after seeing them demonstrated once. Dave was a very clever individual and picked up things quickly. He also knew several different languages. Dave learned Russian and spoke to his Russian opponents to learn their ways and beat them.

Dave Schultz and Kenny Monday

Not only was he smart, Dave was also a hard worker. He would persuade a drill partner to stay late after practice to work out new techniques with him that he wanted to perfect. His technique was so remarkable that his opponents would even ask him to show them moves that he had just used to pin them.

 

Dave off the Mat

Dave cared about everybody. It didn’t matter to Dave who you were, his friendship was always sincere. Dave had an impact on all of his elite teammates in the U.S. arsenal, as well as obscure, young students still learning the sport. A fond former student recalled,  “Dave’s laboratory was the wrestling room, and the petri dish was the mat.” He made you listen and understand. And he would not let you leave until you understood. His ability to get across a skill and technique was said to be, nothing short of “amazing”.

He was always thinking of someone else’s well-being. There literally wasn’t a wrestler that he wasn’t willing to help. He was very friendly, self-effacing, humble, always kind and rarely got mad. He gave what he had all of the time. He made everybody feel like they were his friend. As a result, Dave developed strong, enduring friendships with some of the greatest wrestlers of his era.



Former Olympic coach Bobby Douglas said, “Dave was the renaissance of wrestling. His loyalty to the sport of wrestling, and to his family, his teammates, his colleagues, and his students was unmatched. American wrestling lost a great athlete. America has lost a great person.”

Dave Schultz was humble in victory, and gracious in defeat. He shared his love and enthusiasm for wrestling with everybody that he met. Through his unique personality, he made friends wherever he traveled and was loved by wrestling fans all over the world. Even the opponents he beat liked him.  He is remembered as wrestling’s greatest friend and diplomat, across the nation and around the world. His sportsmanship transcended national boundaries. He is considered the most loved international ambassador for peace and friendship the wrestling world has ever known.

Dave Schultz brought the world together, in his sport, in his way, in whatever languages supplied the brick and mortar to build bridges. The record books will forever tell the story of Dave Schultz’s excellence as a wrestler. He was truly one of the best to ever lace up a pair of wrestling shoes.

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