Olympic champion Varga dies aged 84

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 16) — Olympic and world champion Janos VARGA died last month in Budapest, Hungary at the age of 84.

The Hungarian wrestling legend was a two-time world champion, two-time European champion and a retired army colonel

Varga was born on October 21, 1939 in Abony, where he learned the basics of the sport and then completed his unparalleled career in the Budapest Honvéd Armed Forces.

On the mat, he was characterized by enormous self-discipline, endurance and extraordinary physique, and won a total of ten world competition medals, including five gold.

He is one of the six Hungarian wrestlers who can call himself an Olympic, World Championships and European Championship winner.

Considered among the best in both Greco-Roman and freestyle, he won his first world championship title with a broken rib in 1963, after winning silver and bronze in freestyle in 1961 and 1962 respectively.

He won silver at the 1967 World Championships at 57kg and climbed to the top of the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City alongside his best friend Istvan Kozma.

His second World Championships gold medal came in 1970 as he won the 57kg weight class in Edmonton, Canada. He finished his career with bronze at the 1971 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

After his sport career, Varga did not turn his back to the mat, working as the head coach of the Budapest Honvéd and the junior national team. In addition, he also acted as an international referee.

Varga’s death was mourned by Ministry of National Defense, the Hungarian National Guard, the Hungarian Olympic Committee, the Hungarian Wrestling Federation and his hometown, Abony, and his funeral was held with military honors.


Former Bureau Member and Hall of Fame Inductee Mario Saletnig, Passes Away

By Wrestling Canada

Mario Saletnig an advocate for the sport of wrestling, as both an official and administrator in Canada and internationally, has died.

He served as President of the Canadian Officials Association, and was a referee at four Olympic Games and 25 World Championships, as well as other numerous Continental Championships and Games.

In addition to his work as a referee, Mr. Saletnig was elected to the FILA (now United World Wrestling) Bureau in 1986, became a FILA instructor for 23 years, and served as FILA Vice President from 2000 to 2010.

Mr. Saletnig was President of Wrestling Canada Lutte and served as a Chef de Mission for the Canadian Commonwealth Games Association at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He was Wrestling Canada’s Vice President, International from 1986 to 2010.

In 1999, Mario Saletnig was inducted to the Wrestling Canada Hall of Fame in the Builder Category, and in 2012 he was named to the FILA Hall of Fame.

Mr. Saletnig also served on the Executive Committee of the Pan-American Wrestling Association for 15 years. His involvement in international wrestling spanned over forty years as an official and administrator.

“Mario was an integral part of the wrestling community here in Canada and globally”, said Don Ryan, President of WCL. “His contributions to the sport were many and significant. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends during this time”.

via Wrestling Canada