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“The Only U.S. Winner at the Soviet- Dominated Worlds.”

/By Julianne

On October 10, 1983, Sports Illustrated released an article about Dave Schultz and his stunning performance at the 1983 World Championships. In an arena filled with Soviets, Dave was the only U.S competitor to walk away with a Gold Medal. Sports Illustrated tells the story of the pressure imposed on Schultz and his battle to the top of the podium. 

OCT 10th, 1983/By Craig Neff

The chill of the Ukrainian autumn had spread through the Kiev Palace of Sports last Thursday night, sending fans at the World Wrestling Championships off to vending kiosks to fuel up on snacks and sandwiches and broad-mouthed bottles of curd-clotted milk. “For wrestlers, this is cold,” said Nancy Schultz, shifting nervously in her seat near matside. Her husband, Dave, planned to generate some heat in the 163-pound freestyle final, but even he didn’t feel comfortable in the setting. He couldn’t so much as read the scoreboard—an undecipherable mass of Cyrillic letters—and a sellout crowd of 6,700 Soviets eagerly cheered on his opponent, Muscovite Taram Magomadov. Schultz also was under unexpected pressure. After four days of mostly disappointing performances by the U.S. team—a squad up to its headgear in unforeseen problems—he was America’s last remaining hope for a gold medal.