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Memorial statement about Dave Schultz from then USA Wrestling President Larry Sciacchetano



David Schultz Memorial Service
February 11, 1996
by Larry Sciacchetano, USA Wrestling President

I feel privileged to have this opportunity to share some personal reflections of Dave with you.

I've heard the term "Larger Than Life" a thousand times. I've never really understood what it meant... how someone could be larger than life, until now.

David Schultz was "Larger Than Life".

His accomplishments in life were monumental. He was a great husband and father, a loving brother and son. He achieved all there was to achieve in wrestling and he was a great friend to his teammates and anyone who knew him.

We are here today because he lives on through our memory of those things and he will be with us forever.

Dave was a truly unique person. He was one of those rare people who seem to have ten-thousand best friends. Most people are lucky to have one or two best friends in their lifetime but for Dave it was different. He made everyone feel important. When you were with him, he was genuinely interested in you, in what you were doing in your life, and how he could help.

It never mattered to Dave who you were, or how important you were. His friendship was always sincere.

I want to share a personal story with you.

In 1990, I was in Ulan Bator, Mongolia to negotiate a business deal. I was meeting with a translator and a government minister who didn't speak a word of English. The meetings were intense and not going well. On the second day, at a particularly frustrating point, the minister asked the translator for a recess. During the break, the minister turned to the translator and said, "Ask him if he knows the American wrestler David Schultz."

When I said I knew him well, he wanted to know all I could tell him about David. It sure gave me an edge, but more important than that was the fact that I realized that in the most remote parts of the world, wherever the sport of wrestling is practiced, people know and love Dave Schultz.

In fact, in the city of Tbilisi, the Russian fans would cheer for Dave, even when he competed against a Russian opponent. This happened all over the world.

He was the Muhammad Ali, the Magic Johnson, the Michael Jordan of our sport. An American ambassador who exemplified all the good qualities of who we are.

The world of wrestling is diminished without him. It's diminished in Ulan Bator. It's diminished in Tbilisi and Budapest. In Krasnoyarsk and Istanbul and Tehran. It's diminished wherever men and women of sport will be deprived of his performance, his instruction, his great sense of humor and his friendship.
In every way... those of us who are here, those of us who knew Dave, are fortunate.

The sport of wrestling will forever remember his accomplishments. The Olympic Gold Medal, the World Championship, NCAA Title, World Cup, Tbilisi Titles, Pan-Am Games and on and on.

But those of us who knew him, we'll forever remember the man: his humility, his kindness, his generosity, his smile and sense of humor and, most of all, his friendship.

We'll miss him... But we're forever better, forever better for having known him.

I'll always remember Dave as humble in victory, gracious in defeat, and forever a best friend.

Dasvedanya David. Ya Boudu Skoucha Ya Pa Tibla Ouchin.

Good-bye David. I will miss you greatly.
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