Jeff Blatnick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Blatnick passed away 10/24/12, and I just learned of it today. I'm at work, and can't keep my eyes dry.
I want to relay my story from the Olympic Wrestling trials in 2010. This is the email I wrote and sent to friends after getting back from watching the trials
"I took my white collared USA wrestling shirt hoping to get autographs. I got Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardners, Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnicks, Olympic gold medalist Cael Sandersons, and 2008 Olympic competitors (and I believe will be gold medalist) Ben Askrens. Rulon and Blatnick both talked to me for a minute and were unbelievably humble and almost shocked I asked for their autographs.
Jeff Blatnick was there as part of the 1980 team that didnt go to the Olympics because of the boycott. The team did an autograph signing that day, but I missed it. At the end of the day We spotted him in crossing the lobby leaving. I said Mr. Blatnick? and he stopped and looked at me saying Yes? Looking at me like I was a bill collector. I asked for his autograph and he was so appreciative. He had to holler to his family to not leave without him. He signed my shirt and talked with us for a second. He even asked mine and Staceys name. I thought that was really cool of him"
I didn't know how much that encounter meant to me until I read of his death today. That memory is as vivid today as it was the day it happened!