Dr Dave Curby accepts FILA Bronze Star on behalf of his late son Jacob Curby

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 10, 2010, 10:55 a.m. (ET)
FILA President Rafael Martinetti presents the FILA Bronze Star to Dr. Dave Curby in memory of his son Jacob Curby, a Team USA wrestler who passed away unexpectedly in January. Larry Slater photo

MOSCOW, Russia - Dr. Dave Curby was presented with a FILA Bronze Star by FILA President Raphael Martinetti in a private ceremony at the Olympiysky Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Receiving a FILA star is among the highest honors presented by FILA, the international wrestling federation.

The award was given in memory of U.S. Greco-Roman National Team member Jacob Curby, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 25 in January.

Dr. Curby is in Moscow as part of the U.S. team delegation participating in the World Championships of Wrestling in Moscow this week. He is a member of a FILA committee which deals with research and educational issues, which is holding meetings this week.

"In his death, what we want to perpetuate is good feelings about his life" said Dr. Curby of his son. "He had friends across the world. What this means is that the great value of his short life is appreciated and acknowledged. This is recognition of the entire USA Wrestling family. Wrestling was his life."

Curby had competed internationally for many years. He passed away just days after he returned from competing at the 2010 Ivan Poddubny Grand Prix in Russia. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Pan American Championships.

Curby was ranked No. 3 on the Greco-Roman National Team at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. at the time of his passing and was twice a national team member.

Curby is originally from LaGrange, Ill., where he attended Lyons Township High School. He rose to national and international prominence in Greco-Roman wrestling while competing for the U.S. Olympic Education Program at Northern Michigan Univ. He was a member of the New York Athletic Club.

USA Wrestling has created the Jake Curby Award, which is presented annually to one Greco-Roman athlete from the U.S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan Univ. and one from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. who exemplify the life qualities exhibited in Curby's life.

A memorial event, the Curby Cup, was created this spring in his home state of Illinois, where top Senior and age-group athletes compete in a dual meet to raise funds for USA Wrestling programs in Illinois.