September 15, 2014

The widow of two-time Olympic wrestling champion Ivan Yarygin has become the first female vice president of the sport's governing body.

United World Wrestling says the election of Russia's Natalia Yarygin fulfills the promise for more gender equity made during wrestling's successful fight last year to retain its place in the Olympics.

Ivan Yarygin won freestyle gold medals for the Soviet Union at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and later served as a coach and head of the Russian wrestling federation. He was killed in a car crash in 1997.

Natalia Yarygin manages a memorial fund in her late husband's name and serves as a vice president of the Russian federation.

Her election came over the weekend during the world wrestling championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Also elevated to vice president was Akhroldjan Ruziev of Uzbekistan, another former Soviet wrestler.

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