Philadelphia, Pa. - The University of Pennsylvania Athletic Department will recognize the accomplishments of Penn alum and Olympic Gold Medallist Brandon Slay, W'98, at halftime of Homecoming on Saturday, November 11, 2000 at Franklin Field. University President Judith Rodin, CW'66 and Athletic Director Steve Bilsky, W'71 will be on hand to lead the congratulatory messages from the University as a whole.
Slay is a 1998 dual degree graduate of Penn's Wharton School of Business (finance and management). He was a two-time NCAA runner-up and a three-time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Champion at 167. Slay moved to Colorado Springs to begin his training for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney after graduation in 1998. In the Spring of 2000, Slay won the National Freestyle Championship at 167, which earned him a spot at the Olympic Trials. Once at the trials, Slay faced his friend and mentor, Penn assistant wrestling coach Brian Dolph. Slay defeated Dolph in straight sets, 5-2 and 3-1, to earn his first trip to the Olympic Games.
The Amarillo, Texas native traveled to Sydney with an entourage that consisted of many Penn wrestling alumni and friends, as well as Dolph, the U.S. alternate and Slay's training partner. Slay upset 1996 Olympic Champion and three-time world champion Russia's Buvaisa Saitiev, to advance to the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Gennadiy Laliyev of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals and Adem Bereket of Turkey in the semifinals.
Slay's run to the gold medal match was stopped short when he was defeated in the championship, 4-0, by Germany*s Alexander Leipold. But four very long weeks later, Leipold would test positive for steroid use and the Gold Medal in 76kg Freestyle Wrestling now belongs to Brandon Slay.
Slay will be at Penn for the entire Homecoming Weekend. Friday night he will make an appearance at the annual Penn Wrestling Alumni Meet and Reception in the Pottruck Wrestling Complex in Hutchinson Gym. Saturday, Slay will be recognized at halftime of the Penn football game against Harvard (kickoff is 12:30 pm). He will also be the featured guest on the Penn Football Broadcast on WVCH 740 AM and on www.broadcastsports.com during halftime (previously taped). Saturday night, Slay will give the invocation at the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame ~ Class III Induction Ceremony and Dinner at the Inn at Penn. Sunday, Slay will be at a clinic for the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club in the Pottruck Wrestling Complex.