United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalović has been recognised by the United States’ National Wrestling Hall of Fame here for the leading role he played in keeping wrestling on the Olympic programme.
Lalović took over as President of the then International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) on February 15, 2013, three days after the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ruling Executive Board had recommended that wrestling should be dropped after Rio 2016.
His leadership led to wrestling's reinstatement during the IOC Session in Buenos Aires just seven months later and in September 2014 Lalović was re-elected to a six-year term on the same day that FILA officially became UWW.
The Serbian is the recipient of this year's Alan Rice Leadership Award, first presented in 2011 to the man it is named after; an instrumental figure in the success of Greco-Roman wrestling in the US.
"President Lalović has done an incredible job of strengthening wrestling within the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Games," said Lee Roy Smith, executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Last month, Lalović became the first member of the International Wrestling Federation to be elected to the IOC at the organisation's 128th Session in Kuala Lumpur.
It also made him the first Serbian member since former International Basketball Federation secretary general Borislav Stankovic graduated to honorary status in 2006.
Also recognised as part of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s ceremony here at the Wrestling World Championships was Dremiel Byers, inducted into the Greco-Roman Hall of Champions as the US’s most decorated Greco-Roman wrestler.
Byers won a gold medal at the 2002 World Championships followed by bronze in 2007 and silver in 2009, all in the super heavyweight division.
Additionally, the US's 2007 Greco-Roman World Championship-winning team received the Legacy Award for becoming the first of its kind to achieve the feat.
The Greco-Roman Hall of Champions is named after Rice and his wife Gloria, founders of the Minnesota Wrestling Club, which has placed a wrestler on every US world and Olympic team since 1964.
It is located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.
September 2015: The Mirror Man, Saviour of Wrestling, the Serbian Anita Roddick - call him what you like, Nenad Lalović has what it takes to be an outstanding IOC member
September 2015: Exclusive: Women’s Greco-Roman wrestling could make 2024 Olympic programme
June 2015: Exclusive: Lalovic set to be proposed as International Olympic Committee member
January 2015: Exclusive: Kosovo Olympics head praises Serbian official for using sport to build bridges
September 2014: Lalovic re-elected as President of United World Wrestling