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Not yet realizing where his sports career would carry him, Brian Renken began wrestling at Lakeview High School, winning both the Greco Roman and Freestyle Canadian Junior Championships in his final year of high school. After moving to the University of Western Ontario, he repeated this feat in 1975, being one of few wrestlers to successfully compete in both styles.  At the 1975 Canada Winter Games, he claimed gold in the 165 pound class, winning Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) honours in 1976, 1978, and 1980, when he was also named the CIAU Outstanding Wrestler.  In 1980 and '81, this grappler claimed Freestyle gold at the Canadian Senior National Championships and a bronze in 1982.


This celebrated wrestler began competing internationally at the Junior World Championships in 1975.  He then represented Canada at the World University Student Games in 1977 and 1981 and the Senior World Championships in 1978 and 1982.  In 1979 he claimed a Pan American Games bronze medal and in 1982 he added a Commonwealth Games bronze medal to his outstanding record of success. 

Not surprisingly, Brian's skills earned him a spot on the Canadian Olympic Wrestling Team, competing in Montreal in 1976 in both Freestyle and Greco Roman.  In 1980, he was named to the 1980 Olympic team for Freestyle, however, he never had the opportunity to test his skills at the peak of his career due to the boycott of the Games that year by Canada.


Being able to combine athletics so successfully with academic endeavours, Brian graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Ottawa and his achievements did not go unnoticed.  He was awarded the George Oliphant Trophy as the University of Western Ontario's Outstanding Wrestler in 1976 and 1978, and in 1995 was inducted into the University of Western Ontario's Wrestling Wall of Fame.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 26, 1998

Brian Renken

Thunder Bay
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