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Rulon Gardner Headlines Hall of Fame Class of 2010

rulonNational Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum inducts four Distinguished Members plus four additional honorees

STILLWATER, Okla. – Rulon Gardner, who pulled off one of the greatest upsets in wrestling history at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, headlines the 2010 class of inductees into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

Joining him as Distinguished Members are David Auble, Russell Camilleri and Lincoln McIlravy.

An unheralded wrestler at the time, Gardner provided one of the most spectacular moments of the 2000 summer games when he stunned Russian superstar Alexander Karelin with a 1-0 sudden victory in overtime. Karelin was considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time and already owned three Olympic gold medals entering the bout. He hadn’t lost a match of any kind for three years entering the Sydney Games, but Gardner avoided Karelin’s signature lifts to set himself up for victory. Perhaps equally as famous as his victory was the exuberant cartwheel Gardner performed on the mat in celebration after the match was complete.

In addition to his Olympic gold in 2000, Gardner also picked up international titles at the 1996 World Cup, the 1998 and 2000 Pan American Games and the 2001 World Championships.

Auble was a two-time NCAA Champion for Cornell University and a Gold Medalist at the 1960 Pan American games before becoming a coach. Camilleri compiled a 78-4 record at San Jose State University before becoming a 12-time AAU National Champion in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman. McIlravy was a four-time All American and three-time NCAA Champion for the University of Iowa and claimed a Bronze Medal in 2000 Olympic Games.

Additional honorees to be inducted will be:

• Outstanding American, Chief Chad Smith of Tahlequah, Oklahoma • Order of Merit, Dr. Bernard Feldman of Palos Park, Illinois • Medal of Courage, Rick Yarosh of Windsor, New York • Lifetime Achievement for Officials, Jim Ramirez of Arkansas City, Kansas

These award recipients represent the various categories that contribute to the sports viability and success. As an Outstanding American and high school wrestler, Smith has been the Principle Chief of the second largest Indian tribe in the United States since 1999, the Cherokee Nation. Feldman has served the United States National and International Teams as a team physician since 1983 including five Olympic Games. Yarosh, an accomplished high school wrestler is the 2010 Medal of Courage recipient, suffered burns on his entire body when his tank hit an explosive in Baghdad in 2006. Ramirez is one of the most accomplished collegiate and folkstyle officials in the nation having officiated 16 straight NCAA Division I National Championships.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors approved these selections at its semi-annual meeting held in Kansas City this past week. The Class of 2010 will be inducted during the Honors Weekend Banquet and Induction Ceremony in Stillwater, Oklahoma, June 4-5, 2010. The event will mark the 34th anniversary class of the Hall of Fame & Museum. If you would like to attend or make a donation for Honors Weekend, please go to https://nwhof.ticketleap.com.

“I want to thank our Board of Governors and the various screening and selection committees involved in the six-month process that determines our honorees for induction. This is another exceptional class of inductees whose merits transcend our sports impact upon society,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.

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