While his name may not immediately ring a bell, his moment is one we'll remember forever - the big, curly Greco-Roman wrestler dropping to his knees and bringing his hands together in thanks for winning the Gold Medal at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. And, in the moments that followed, giving an emotional television interview in which he proclaimed to the world, through tears of joy - "I'm a happy dude!"
His emotions were running high for more reasons than winning Olympic Gold. Just two years earlier Jeff was diegnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, a form of cancer that attacks the spleen and lymph nodes. After surgery and a series of daily radiation treatments, the cancer was in remission and he resumed training.
The dramatic television interview the world saw immediately after his medal-winning bout brought Jeff's private struggles to the public eye. And, shortly after winning the Gold, his US teammates elected Blatnick to carry the flag at the Closing Ceremonies of the L.A. Games - an honor Jeff will never forget.
As Sports Illustrated Publisher Dave Long states, "Gold Medal stories arer always fascinating, but because of the other battles he's fought, Jeff's was something special. And we know that everyone who heard him speak, was inspired by what he had to say!"
Today, Jeff Blatnick is one of the premier motivational speakers in the country. His personalized presentation is, simply, first-rate. Jeff's enthusiasm, sincerity, and love of life have kept him focused on a single purpose: overcoming adversity.
During his 16-year wrestling career, Jeff Blatnick won ten national titles and various international awards. Jeff was a member of both the 1980 and 1984 United States Olympic Teams, and he retired from active competition in 1988. Since then, in addition to his motivational speaking engagements, Jeff Blatnick has become a successful television sportscaster. He has appeared as an expert analyst on NBC, ABC, ESPN, Madison Square Garden Network, and Prime Ticket Cable.
Jeff Blatnick has also kept extremely active as a spokesperson for the Leukemia Society of America, United Way, American Concern Society, United States Olympic Committee, National Fitness Leaders Association, and the New York State Department of Education. he has also served on the Board of Directors of USA Wrestling, and continues to assist in policy-setting, promotion, wrestling clinics and fund-raising efforts.