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Bruce Baumgartner - Athletic Honors

world champion medal silver

Baumgartner, who was nominated for the AAU's James E. Sullivan Award in 1986, and from 1992-94, captured the elusive honor on a fifth nomination in 1995. He bested an impressive field of competition for the award that year, including golfer Tiger Woods. Baumgartner was only the second wrestler to receive the Sullivan since its inception in 1930.

At his fourth Olympic competition, in Atlanta in 1996, Baumgartner was named U.S. team captain and carried the national flag into the ceremonies. He returned from the games with a bronze medal that year, thus joining an elite field of only four other U.S. athletes who had won medals at four different Olympic competitions.

Chronology

1960 Born November 2 in Haledon, New Jersey
1978 Graduates from Manchester Regional High School
1978 Enrolls at ISU at Terre Haute
1980 Is named as an alternate to the Olympic team
1980-81 Achieves runner-up at NCAA Division I heavyweight finals
1982 Concludes collegiate career with a 134-12 record and 73 pins;
is named to the World Team; earns a B.S. degree in industrial arts education; marries Linda Hochman on June 6.
1982-84 Attends Oklahoma State University as a graduate assistant wrestling coach
1984 Earns an M.S. degree in industrial arts education
1984-97 Serves as wrestling coach (later head wrestling coach) at Edinboro University
1996 Is named captain and flag bearer of U.S. Olympic team
1997 Retires from amateur competition
1998 Is named athletic director at Edinboro University

Awards and Accomplishments

First United States wrestler to win three Olympic medals. One of only five U.S. athletes to win medals at four Olympic competitions.
1980 Midlands Tournament Champion
1980-96 National Freestyle Champion
1981 World University Champion; Midlands Tournament Champion
1982 National College Athletic Association Division I champion, heavyweight; Midlands Tournament Champion
1983 Bronze medal at the World Championships; silver at the World Cup Championships; silver at Tiblisi Tournament; silver at Pan-American Games; Sports Festival Champion; Midlands Tournament Champion
1984 Gold medal at the Olympic games; gold medal at Tiblisi Tournament; won Amateur Athletic Union National Championship; Midlands Tournament Champion
1984-86, 1989-91, 1994, 1997 Won World Cup
1985 Gold medal at World Superchampionships; bronze at World Championships; silver at Tiblisi Tournament; Sports Festival Champion (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); Midlands Tournament Champion
1986 Won World Championship; gold medal at Goodwill Games; Sports Festival Champion (Chapel Hill, North Carolina); Midlands Tournament Champion
1987 Bronze medal at World Championships; gold at Pan-American Games; Midlands Tournament Champion
1988 Silver medal at the Olympic games; silver at World Cup Championships; Pan-American Champion
1989 Pan-American Champion; silver medal at World Championships; won World Wrestling Grand Championship
1990 Silver medal at Goodwill Games; silver at World Championship; Grand Masters Champion
1991 Gold medal at Pan-American Games
1992 Gold medal at the Olympic games; won U.S. Grand Prix Championship
1993 Won World Championship; won U.S. Grand Prix Championship; silver medal at World Cup
1994 Bronze medal at Goodwill Games; silver at World Championship
1995 Won World Championship; gold medal at Pan-American Games; won silver at World Cup; won James E. Sullivan Award
1996 Bronze medal at the Olympic games
2000 Named a Legend of the Century by the New York Athletic Club
2001 Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in New Jersey
2002 Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum

In 1997, after winning his eighth World Cup Championship, Baumgartner retired from competition. He was named to the Sports Hall of Fame in New Jersey in 2001 and was enshrined at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a member of the inaugural class of 2002. Since 1988 Baumgartner has served as athletic director at Edinboro University where his wife, the former Linda Hochman, is also on staff as a sports trainer. In 2000 Baumgartner was honored as a Legend of the Century by the New York Athletic Club.

At 6-feet-2-inches tall and 286 pounds Baumgartner's physical strength is anchored largely in his 18-inch biceps and 52-inch chest. Regardless, his training partners and opponents counter that mental fortitude, maturity, and introspection have played a significant role toward the longevity and magnitude of his amateur career.

Bruce Baumgartner - Chronology [next] [back] Bruce Baumgartner - Perennial Champion

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