Friday, August 3, 2012

Canadian Honors at the Fila Hall of Fame Induction tonight

A very unique and proud occasion tonight as new members are being inducted into the Fila International Hall of fame.

Here is the Press release and induction nomination as printed on the CAWA Website:

FILA - HALL OF FAME ceremonies are scheduled for the evening of the FILA CONGRESS on 3rd of August during the 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES in London, just a block from the historical St Paul's Cathedral in London at the Grange St. Paul's Hotel 10, Godliman Street, London EC4V 5AJ.

Among the seven new members that are scheduled for induction to the FILA Hall of Fame at the 2012 Olympic Games there are three Canadians that will be inducted, - Mario SALETNIG, Leader Category (CAN/USA); Daniel IGALI - Athlete category - LL (NGR/CAN) and Daniel ROBIN - Athlete category - LL (FRA/CAN).

Other members that will be inducted are: - Aldo Albanese, Referee ITA; Gudrun Annette Hoeie, Women's LF NOR; Mnazakan Iskandaryan, GR RUS; and Dan Gable USA - Legend.

The Chairman of the Commonwealth Wrestling Association Mr. Josip MRKOCI nominated the three Canadians to FILA Hall of Fame Committee for consideration in 2011 with support of Clive Llewellyn - Executive member of the Wrestling Canada Lutte.

Mr. Mrkoci's letter to FILA Hall of Fame Committee outlining the accomplishments of the three nominated Canadians in Wrestling stated “I had the honor to know all three gentlemen throughout my wrestling involvement at the Canadian, Australian and International level of wrestling from 1970 to today, I can truly say all three deserve to be inducted to the FILA Hall of Fame.”

While Daniel Igali and Daniel Robin were wrestling olympians, meaning they wrestled at Olympic Games and won medals, Mario Saletnig participated and officiated at eight Olympic Games.

Mario Saletnig received his FILA Officiating rating at the 1970 World Championships. He became President of Canadian Officials Association and later President of Wrestling Canada Lutte. He refereed at many Olympic Games and World Wrestling Championships.

Mario served as a Chef de Mission for the Canadian Commonwealth Games Association at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He was Wrestling Canada’s Vice President, International from 1986 to 2010. In 1999, Mario Saletnig was inducted to the Wrestling Canada Hall of Fame in the Builder Category.

Also in 1986, Mario was elected to FILA bureau and became FILA Instructor and later served as FILA Vice-President until 2010.

Mario also served on Executive Committee of the Pan-American Wrestling Association. His involvement at the International level of wrestling spans some 40 years as a official and administrator. Mario now lives in Florida, USA.

Daniel Igali first appeared at International wrestling level by competing for Nigeria from 1991- 1994.While wrestling for Nigeria he won a Silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at 1991 African Games. In 1993 and 1994, he won Gold medals in Freestyle wrestling at the African Wrestling Championships.

Daniel wrestled for Canada (his adoptive country) from 1995 to 2004. His accomplishments while wrestling for Canada is outstanding to say the least. Attending Simon Fraser University, Daniel's Collegiate wrestling record of 116-0 over the period of three years was a formidable achievement that has not yet been matched.

He placed fourth at the 1998 World Championships in Tehran, Iran, and second at the World Cup in 1999. In September of 1999, Daniel became Canada's first men's World Wrestling Champion when he won six straight bouts in the men's 69 kilograms division at the World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Ankara, Turkey.

Competing in the 2000 Sydney Olympc Games, Daniel reached the pinnacle of sports success when he became the Olympic Champion in freestyle wrestling, the first Canadian of African descent to win Olympic Gold medal at Olympic Games in the Sport of Wrestling. Daniel returned to compete at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England where he also won a Gold medal and became Commonwealth Games Champion.

Daniel Igali is not only a Wrestling Champion (World, Olympic & Commonwealth) but also a Humanitarian. After the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, within 3 years, Daniel raised $ 600,000 dollars to build a Public School in his Native Village of Eniwari, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The school also has a program & Academy for the Sport of wrestling. He has formed the “Daniel Igali Foundation” which is a not-for-profit organization whose members are individuals committed to assisting young people in developing nations achieve their scholastic, personal and career aspirations (

Daniel spends his time between Canada and Nigeria. He has coached for past four years the Nigerian Wrestling Team and led them to the best ever results at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Daniel Igali is the only Olympic Champion and World Champion in the sport of wrestling that is from a Commonwealth nation (Nigeria/Canada). Daniel is also the only African-born athlete which has won Olympic Gold, Commonwealth Games Gold and World Championships Gold in freestyle wrestling to date. Daniel surely deserved to be inducted to the FILA Hall of Fame in the Athlete category.

Daniel Robin is one of the few wrestlers in the World that has won medals in both styles of Wrestling, in Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles at the National (French), International, World and Olympic level.

Daniel has won many International Wrestling Championships from 1963 to 1972. He won the Mediterranean Games gold medals in Freestyle & Greco-Roman wrestling in 1967 and 1971.

In 1967, Daniel became World Wrestling Champion in freestyle wrestling. In 1968 he won a Gold medal at the European Freestyle Wrestling Championships as well.

At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Daniel Robin entered to compete in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman style of wrestling. He won Olympic silver medal in Freestyle as well as a silver medal in Greco-Roman style of wrestling. He is one of the very few wrestlers to achieve this feat at the Olympic Games.

Daniel emigrated to Montreal, Canada and became a instructor of wrestling, promoting the sport throughout the Province of Quebec. In 1978, he was chosen as the Head Coach of the Canadian Greco-Roman Wrestling Program He was selected as the 1980 Canadian Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling Coach but Canada boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

A number of Canadian athletes that Daniel coached in Greco- Roman wrestling in Montreal such as Howard Stupp, now head of International Olympic Committee Legal Department and Doug Yeats (five-time Olympian) who won Gold medals at the Pan-American Games and Pan-American Championships and represented Canada at the Olympics.

In 2007, Daniel Robin was inducted to the Wrestling Canada Hall of Fame in the Builder category for his service & contribution to the sport of Wrestling in Canada. Over the number of years Daniel has also worked with FILA at different International Wrestling Events in the promotion of Wrestling. He is currently working as the Wrestling Competition Manager at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

As the Olympic Games are being held in Great Britain, a leading nation of the Commonwealth of Nations, it is befitting that the three Canadians are being honored and inducted to FILA Hall of Fame in London during the Games.

The Commonwealth Wrestling Community of 40 wrestling nations that are members of FILA are proud of Mario Saletnig, Daniel Igali and Daniel Robin and congratulate them for being inducted to the FILA Hall of Fame.
I have know the three of these men in various capacities over the years. I would like congratulate them all for this important acknowledgement of their decorated careers and service.

Coach V

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