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Olympic medal record
Men's Greco-Roman wrestling
Gold 1984 Los Angeles Super Heavy Weight

Jeff Blatnick (born July 26, 1957 in Schenectady, New York) is a former American Super Heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler and cancer survivor.

Wrestling

Blatnick began his career wrestling in 1973 at Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, New York. While wrestling for Niskayuna, Blatnick became the state heavyweight champion in 1975.[1] After graduating from Niskayuna, he attended and wrestled for Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. After winning national titles in NCAA Division II, he qualified for the 1980 Olympic team which boycotted the games. In 1982, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, prompting the removal of his spleen and appendix.

After radiation therapy helped to hold the cancer in remission, Blatnick competed in and won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. He and his teammate, Steve Fraser, were the first Americans to ever win gold in Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling history. Blatnick retired from wrestling after a second round with cancer, which required chemotherapy. He served as a television commentator during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Mixed martial arts

From 1994 to 2001 for UFC 4 to UFC 32, he served as a commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship,[1] and was officially named as the commissioner of the UFC during UFC 17. During this time he was involved in the development of the modern rules of the sport.[1] Jeff authored the Mixed Martial Arts Council Manual. Jeff is licensed as a referee and judges with the New Jersey commission.

At present, Jeff Blatnick is a varsity wrestling coach at Burnt Hills-Balston Lake High School where the head coach is Steve Jones. and also works as a motivational speaker. He resides with his wife, son, and daughter in Clifton Park, New York.

References

  1. ^ a b SLATTERY, HOLDEN (October 23, 2008). "Speaker tells Homer students to keep improving". Cortland Standard. http://cortlandstandard.net/articles/10232008n.html. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
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