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Body of Olympic silver medalist Varayev found

The body of Adlan Varayev, winner of a silver medal in men's freestyle wrestling for the Soviet Union at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was found this week after the former wrestler and coach who became vice-president of the Russian Wrestling Federation fell into a river in his native Chechnya in early May. He was 54.

Adlan Varayev
"Varayev's body was found today," three-time Olympic champion wrestler Buvaisar Saitiyez told the Russian TASS news agency on Sunday. "He has identified by relatives. The search has not stopped since the day when it happened. Many people have been involved in the search, in difficult weather conditions, in a landslide-prone area. Many have been hoping to find him alive."

One news source indicated that Varayev had been posing for a photo in the mountains of Chechnya, and fell off a 50-meter cliff into a chasm into the Argun River on May 3. According to the North Caucasian Regional Emergency Center, the body was found on June 19, 25 kilometers away from the place where Varayev had fallen.

Born January 2, 1962, Adlan Abuevich Varayev had a successful career as a freestyle wrestler. He earned a silver medal at 74 kilograms/163 pounds for the Soviet Union at the 1988 Olympics, falling to USA's Kenny Monday in overtime in the gold medal match. With that silver medal, Varayev became the first ethnic Chechen to win an Olympic medal in any sport.

Varayev was also a two-time medalist at the World Championships. He won the gold medal by defeating USA's Dave Schultz at the 1987 Worlds at Clermont-Ferrand, France. The previous year, Varayev claimed silver at the 1986 Worlds in Budapest. Varayev also earned three gold medals at the European Championships from 1986-1988.

After retiring from competition, Varayev worked as a wrestling coach, helping to train the Russian national freestyle team. In 2013, he was elected vice-president of the Russian Wrestling Federation.

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