Kenny Monday, Dr. Bernie Feldman of the USA inducted into UWW International Wrestling Hall of Fame

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 21, 2018, 1:55 a.m. (ET)
UWW Hall of Fame inductees Kenny Monday and Dr. Bernie Feldman of the United States pose together with their Hall of Fame Awards.

Kenny Monday Interview video

Bernie Feldman Interview video

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Two American legends, Olympic and World freestyle champion Kenny Monday and international wrestling medical leader Dr. Bernie Feldman, were among the 21 wrestling dignitaries inducted into United World Wrestling’s International Wrestling Hall of Fame on Friday night at the Budapest Marriott.

They become the 11th and 12th UWW Hall of Fame inductees from the United States, continuing a legacy of excellence from the American wrestling community.

Monday won a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and was a 1999 World champion. He also won a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, in spite of competing with a severely injured elbow. Monday added a World silver medal in 1991. After taking off a few years, Monday also competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, where he placed sixth. He was also a 1991 Pan American Games champion.

“It is an incredible honor. I was very excited and humbled to be recognized with such an incredible group of wrestlers, people I have looked up to and have been fans of, have wrestled with and wrestled against. It was a long time coming. I thought that maybe I might have the opportunity to be inducted. This is kind of the last Hall of Fame. I don’t think there are any other Halls of Fame for me. It is the last one, and they saved the best for last,” said Monday.

Monday was a 1984 NCAA champion and three-time NCAA finalist for Oklahoma State, and hails from Tulsa, Okla.

He became the fifth U.S. athlete to be inducted as a men’s freestyle wrestler, alongside Kevin Jackson, John Smith, Lee Kemp and Dave Schultz.

Feldman was only the second winner of the Order of Merit category for the Hall of Fame, joining Dr. Harold Tunneman of Germany with this special award. Feldman became the first inductee who was added to the UWW Hall of Fame based upon his career providing medical services to international athletes.

“It was surreal. I never even considered this within the realm of reality. It has never happened before. They just started this induction category a year ago. I never considered it as a possibility. It is a very great honor, because wrestling has become one of the big passions in my life. I have devoted a lot of time, energy and effort. Whatever I have given, I have gotten one-hundred fold back, with the friendship and relationship I have with the athletes and the entire wrestling community,” said Feldman.

Feldman’s medical career within wrestling began at a Junior World Championships in 1983 in Oak Lawn, Ill., where he volunteered to assist at the competition. Feldman was hooked on the sport and its athletes from that experience, and has been serving as a doctor for United World Wrestling at numerous Olympic, World and Continental Championships for decades. Dr. Feldman has also been a doctor for USA Wrestling at a number of major international events.

It is not only his medical expertise which has made Feldman so much respected within the sport, but also his love and respect for the athletes and coaches from around the world who he has helped in his medical role.

The evening was moderated by UWW Vice President Stan Dziedzic of the United States, who chairs UWW’s Hall of Fame and Historical Heritage Commission.

UWW Hall of Famers from the United States
2018 – Kenny Monday, men’s freestyle
2018 – Dr. Bernie Feldman, Order of Merit
2016 – Bill Farrell, coach
2016 – Joe Scalzo, leader
2016 – Rick Tucci, referee
2016 – Dave Schultz, men’s freestyle
2012 – Dan Gable, legend
2011 – Tricia Saunders, women’s freestyle
2010 – Vince Zuaro, referee
2008 – Lee Kemp, men’s freestyle
2005 – John Smith, men’s freestyle
2005 – Kevin Jackson, men’s freestyle
2005 – Bruce Baumgartner, men’s freestyle

UWW HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018


LEADER
Michel DUSSON (FRA) – Secretary General, United World Wrestling (1982-); Referee, (1958-1980)
Rolle Fernandez GUSTAVO (CUB) – National Team Coach, National Federation President, Bureau Member

REFEREE
Karri TOIVOLA (FIN) – Five Olympic Games, Every world championship 1990-2004; President United World Wrestling Referee Commission ’88-’14; Golden Whistle ‘95

COACH
Bayram SIT (TUR) Freestyle wrestler and coach for Turkish national team
Gannady SAPUNOV (RUS) Greco-Roman head coach from 1979-1990

ORDER OF MERIT
* a new Hall of Fame category meant to honor those whose extraordinary service advanced the sport of wrestling.
Bernard J FELDMAN, M.D. (USA) Longtime doctor for United World Wrestling at numerous world championships and Olympic Games.

LEGEND
Sagalov ABDULBEKOV (RUS) -- First Olympic champion from the Russian Republic of Dagestan, one of the most prolific wrestling regions in the world. 2x world champion ‘71, ‘73 and ‘69 bronze medalist

WOMEN’S WRESTLING
Ayoka SHODA (JPN) -- 4x world champion
Stanka Zlateva HRISTOVA (BUL) -- 5x world champion 2x Olympic silver medalist
Silvia VAN GUCHT (FRA) -- 3x world champion

GRECO-ROMAN
Lajos KERESTZES (HUN) – Olympic champion, Olympic silver (posthumous)
Kazimierz LIPIEN (POL) Olympic champion1972; 2x world champion ‘73-‘74, 4x silver
Vitelav MACHA (CZE) Olympic champion 1972, Olympic silver ’76 2x World champion 74,77
Sergey MARTINOV (RUS) -- Four-time world champion, Olympic silver ‘92
Gustav FREIJ (SWE) – Olympic gold ’48, silver 1052, bronze ’60; world champion ’53, silver ’50 and bronze ’55 (posthumous)

FREESTYLE
Istvan KOVACS (HUN) – World champion 79, World bronze 77, Olympic bronze 80
Prodgan GARDZHEV (BUL) – Olympic Gold ‘64, bronze ’68; World Champion ‘63 ‘66, bronze 65
Roman DIMITRIEV (RUS) – Olympic gold ’72, silver ’76; World champion ‘763, Silver ’69, bronze ’70 & ’74 (posthumous)
Kenneth MONDAY (USA) – Gold ’88, Silver ’92; World champion ’89, World silver ‘91
Shigeo NAKATA (JPN) – Olympic champion ’68, World champion ‘67
Monsoor MEHDIZADEH (IRI) – 3x world champion ’61,’62, ’65; Bronze ‘63