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Olympic champion Weaver inducted into NYAC Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, N.Y. - 1984 Olympic freestyle wrestling champion Bobby Weaver was among seven dignitaries inducted into the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame on Thursday, February 15th

Over 250 people attended the black tie events at the NYAC's Manhattan club house.

A video of Bobby Weaver's 1984 Olympic victory was shown, after which Weaver took the stage and proceeded to give a heart-felt and unrehearsed speech.

"I haven't prepared anything," he said. "I didn't know what I was going to say when I came up here. But my mother always told me to speak from the heart, so that's what I'm doing."

Looking back over his career, Weaver stated that there had been a lot of wins, but also a lot of voids. The early deaths of his father and brother were particular low points.

"The sport of wrestling allowed those voids to be filled," he stated. "There were a lot of people who helped me fill the voids. It wasn't all me," Weaver said.

Among those in the room to pay tribute to Weaver were past Olympic coach and NYAC president, Bill Farrell, and wrestling legend and NYAC Hall of Famer, Bruce Baumgartner.

"There's no other club in the world like the NYAC, helping athletes to be the best that they can be," said Baumgartner.

Weaver won the Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling (105.5 lbs.) in 1984 in Los Angeles after making the 1980 team that did not compete in Moscow because of the boycott. He won two World Cup titles at 105.5 lbs., and notched second and fifth place finishes at the World Championships. He was an All-America at Lehigh in 1982

This was the 23rd NYAC Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The 2007 ceremony brought to 121 the number of members of the NYAC Hall of Fame, which held its first induction in 198

The six other inductees were:

Wellington Mara, owner of the New York Giants;

Heather Moody, Nicolle Payne and Natalie Golda, members of the bronze medal-winning U.S. Olympic water polo team in Athens in 2004.

Blaine Wilson, winner of a silver medal at the Athens Games in gymnastics;

Robert Cullum, rugby player and former NYAC president

Photo of Bobby Weaver (center) with Olympic champion Bruce Baumgartner (left) and NYAC Wrestling Chairman Sonny Greenhalgh (right)at the induction ceremony. Courtesy of the New York Athletic Club

About the New York Athletic Club

A private club founded in 1868, the New York Athletic Club is among the world's most accomplished sporting institutions, sponsoring world class teams in track and field, rowing, judo, wrestling, fencing and water polo, among others. The NYAC's headquarters at 59th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City and at Travers Island in Pelham Manor, NY include top class sporting facilities. At the Athens Olympic Games of 2004, the NYAC's 39 representatives won 11 medals.

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