Olympic wrestling champion Schultz: “Look who we are now making heroes out of Zuckerberg marks”

Los Angeles Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling in 1984, Mark Schultz, on the Lytes Out podcast, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that wrestlers in the United States are financially stimulated much less than in Russia and Iran.

– Mark, how would you explain such success in the struggle between Russia and some Muslim countries like Iran?

– In these countries, there is simply an incredible level of respect for wrestlers. I brought my Iranian comrade, Mansour Barzegar, to the US. This is the first world wrestling champion in the history of Iran. Now he lives with me in the same city. When he became world champion, the Iranian government gave him a copper mine. And with the money from this mine, he built buildings for commercial real estate, elite residential complexes, hotels, a stadium … The person owns the stadium, can you imagine? If such financial incentives were applied to me, I would have fought for another five years. I, quite possibly, would have won a couple more world championships. But we are not paid anything, there is no support. You must sacrifice everything. And in Russia, wrestlers are treated like gods. And this attitude has not changed with the collapse of the USSR. Wrestling is respected.

— Mark, I believe that you should be a national hero in the United States. Like all these guys are Olympic champions in these countries

— Look, from whom we are now making heroes .. From Zuckerberg stamps? (laughs). Wrestlers should get more respect. And by the way, now with the success of the UFC, more and more people see what a great martial art wrestling is. More wrestlers are starting to get serious status and attention.

At the Los Angeles Olympics, Schultz won gold in the 82 kg category, beating Japan’s Hideuki Nagashima in the final. In May 1996, Schultz had his only MMA fight in his career, knocking out Gary Goodridge at UFC 9.