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Statements by USA Wrestling and Nancy Schultz in January 1996 concerning Dave Schultz' death

Jan. 26, 1996

USA Wrestling has been informed that Dave Schultz of Newtown Square, Pa., a past World and Olympic freestyle wrestling champion, passed away today.

Information from a press release that USA Wrestling received from the Newtown Township Police Department in Pennsylvania, sent at 7:58 ET, indicates the following:

At approximately 1452 hours on 1/26/96, Dave Schultz was shot once in the arm and twice in the chest at 3909 Goshen Road (du Pont Estate). He was treated at the scene, then taken to Mercy Haverford Hospital by the Newtown Square Ambulance, where he was pronounced dead. The suspect is John E. du Pont, who is still at the Estate.

"USA Wrestling is deeply saddened to hear the news about the death of Dave Schultz, one of the greatest wrestlers in U.S. history," said James E. Scherr, Executive Director of USA Wrestling. "The organization wishes to offer condolences to the Schultz family and their many friends around the United States. Dave was an outstanding individual, a person who loved the sport of wrestling and shared his skills and enthusiasm for wrestling with everybody. The sport has suffered a great loss today."

Schultz, 36, won a gold medal at 163 pounds/74 kg at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Calif. He was also a World Champion at the weight class in 1983.

Schultz was a top prospect for the 1996 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team at 163 pounds. He was currently ranked No. 1 in the United States at his weight class. He placed fifth in the 1995 World Championships, which were held in Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 10-13.

Schultz has won almost every honor available in the sport of wrestling during his career. He won seven U.S. National freestyle wrestling titles, one AAU National freestyle title and two AAU Greco-Roman national titles. He was a Goodwill Games champion in 1986, a Pan American Games champion in 1987 and a World Cup champion four times (1980, 1985, 1994, 1995).

Schultz attended the Univ. of Oklahoma, where he was a NCAA champion in 1982. He also attended Oklahoma State Univ. and UCLA before completing his career at Oklahoma. Schultz was a California state high school champion for Palo Alto High School in 1977.

His younger brother Mark was an Olympic freestyle wrestling champion in 1984 at 180.5 pounds, and won World gold medals in 1985 and 1987.

Schultz was born June 6, 1959 in Palo Alto, Calif. He is survived by a wife, Nancy, and two children, Alexander and Danielle.

Jan. 27, 1996

USA Wrestling is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Dave Schultz, one of the great athletes and individuals ever involved in the sport of wrestling.

We have truly lost a giant, an ambassador of goodwill around the world. Few people have made such a positive impact on their sport as Dave. His legacy will encompass much more than the numerous medals and honors which he won on the mat.

The record books will forever tell the story of Dave's excellence as a wrestler. A 1984 Olympic gold medal, a 1983 World title, plus a Goodwill Games title, a Pan American Games title, four World Cup titles and ten national titles. He was truly one of the best ever to lace up a pair of wrestling shoes.

But what the records won't tell you is the kind of person Dave was and impact he made on all of us in wrestling. There literally wasn't a wrestler Dave wasn't willing to help. He had a profound impact on virtually all of the elite athletes in the U.S. the last fifteen years, as a competitor, coach and friend. He will be irreplaceable among the wrestling community. He touched the lives of thousands of people, all of whom were enriched by his spirit.

He shared his love and enthusiasm for wrestling with everybody that he met. Through his unique personality he made friends wherever he travelled and was loved by wrestling fans here in the United States and all over the world.

USA Wrestling wishes to offer condolences to the family and friends of Dave Schultz, not only here in the United States but in all nations. We share their grief and sense of loss at this time.

The Schultz family has not yet announced arrangements for memorial services, but will inform USA Wrestling when they are finalized.

In regards to the incidents that are still unfolding in Pennsylvania, USA Wrestling, along with the rest of the world, is still waiting and watching. We are unable to comment on this matter until we receive more information.

To clarify some questions which we have received, Mr. John E. du Pont was a sponsor of USA Wrestling from 1987 through 1995. He became the sponsor of Freestyle Team USA, the national team program for freestyle wrestling, after the 1988 Olympic Games and supported the program through the end of the 1995 season. His contributions to USA Wrestling for the national team program were about $400,000 per year during this time. USA Wrestling has not received any direct sponsorship funding from Mr. du Pont since June of 1995.

Mr. du Pont has been an active supporter of many sports. His Team Foxcatcher club was also involved in swimming, triathlon, modern pentathlon, track and field and gymnastics, in addition to wrestling. Mr. du Pont was an accomplished swimmer and triathlete during his competitive years. He has also donated money and time to numerous other sporting activities.

This is a trying time for the sport of wrestling in the United States and the World. USA Wrestling will be providing additional statements at a later date as more information becomes available. Thank you.

January 29, 1996

The following statement made by Nancy Schultz, widow of Dave Schultz:

Our family is devastated and saddened by Dave's brutal and unexpected loss. He was not only a world-class athlete, coach and mentor, but a devoted and loving father to our children and husband to me for the past 14 years. Dave will be missed so much by his family, friends and the wrestling community around the world. Dave had a passion for his sport and an enthusiasm for life that was unmatched.

Over the past few days, we have heard people across the country and around the globe whose lives Dave has touched. Their kind support, outpouring of love, and fond memories of Dave have helped sustain us during this very difficult time.

My family must now turn its focus and energy to my children, Alexander and Danielle who had a very close relationship with their father, and who are struggling to understand how and why this tragedy happened, and how they will possibly fill this void in their lives.

While I have no idea why John committed this senseless and brutal killing of my husband, I am confident that the police and authorities will conduct a thorough investigation and bring him to justice.

As soon as we determine how and where we will handle Dave's funeral services, we will make that information available to the public.

At this time, we do not wish to comment any further or to take any questions. We hope the media and the public will understand and respect our need for privacy during my family's period of grief... Thank you.
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