|Arrangements set for Jeff Blatnick, with wake on Sunday and funeral on Monday in Albany, N.Y. area|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling has been notified with information on the memorial services which have been set for 1984 Olympic champion wrestler Jeff Blatnick, who passed away on Wednesday.
A wake and a funeral have been set in the community where Jeff grew up and lived, in the region surrounding Albany, N.Y.
A wake will be held on Sunday, October 28th at the Glenville Funeral Home, at 9 Glenridge Road, Glenville NY 12302. Phone: 518-399-1630. The calling hours will be from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The memorial service is set for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 29 at Our Lady of Grace, 73 Midline Rd., Ballston Lake, NY 12019. Phone: 518-399-5713. The service will be followed by internment at the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetary, 2501 Troy Rd., Niskayuna NY 12309. Phone 518-374-5319.
Additional information concerning memorial contributions and other activities in Jeff’s honor will be announced when available.
Blatnick, 55, died following complications from surgery in Schenectady, N.Y. on Wednesday.
He served as the state chairman for New York USA Wrestling, the state association in New York, and has been a longtime leader within the organization. He has been a member of USA Wrestling’s Board of Directors.
He earned a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Calif. in the heavyweight division. He became an international hero after he defeated Hodgkins Disease, a form of cancer, prior to winning his Olympic title. He was the U.S. flagbearer for the Closing Ceremonies at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Blatnick also was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.
He was a star at Springfield College, winning two NCAA Div. II national titles and earning two NCAA Div. I All-American honors, placing third in the 1979 NCAA Div. I Nationals. He was also a state champion in New York at Niskayuna High School.
Blatnick served as a wrestling commentator for NBC and ESPN, working both the Olympic Games and the NCAA Wrestling Championships, among many other events. He also was a popular motivational speaker. He was an early leader in the development of professional mixed martial arts.