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Matt Ghaffari

Induction Year: 2003 Sport: Wrestling

A solid, but hardly sensational wrestling career at Cleveland State University –a 56-11-2 record, a school record 14 pins as a senior bulwark of the nations ninth-ranked team when he qualified for NCAA Division I Nationals but he won just one match before bowing out – gave virtually no hint that the Vikings were nurturing an Olympic silver medalist in their midst. However, turning to Greco-Roman style wrestling after his graduation in 1984, proved the catalyst to the 1996 Olympics Silver Medal at 286 pounds and a notable national acclaim which followed, abetted no doubt by his imposing physical appearance. The medal was no fluke. Rather it was the special highlight of a post-collegiate career which saw him become the only wrestler in U.S. history to win a combined four World and Olympic medals. Add to that seven U.S. national championships, an American record nine Pan-American titles, and four World Cup championships, and 13 Grand Prix and four Canada Cup championships. Also earning a spot on the 1992 Olympic Team and as an alternate to the 2000 team, he was the U.S. Olympic Committee Greco-Roman Athlete of the Year for 1996 and 1998 and fifth in the voting for the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year in 1999. now the Director of National Facilitated Services at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he makes his home in Avon Lake.