By Emily Goddard

lindsey_durlacher_13-07-11July 19 - The United States Olympic Training Centre (OTC) in Colorado Springs has paid tribute to Lindsey Durlacher, the American Greco-Roman wrestling star who passed away suddenly last month, with both a bench and a tree being dedicated to his honour at the training complex.

The dedications were made during a special memorial service to celebrate Durlacher's life and are the result of a combined effort between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Wrestling and the Durlacher family.

The decorated Illinois wrestler died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 36 on June 4 in Denver, after being released home from hospital following surgery on a cracked sternum caused by a February snowmobiling accident, although the cause of his death was undetermined.

"Lindsey showed skill, character and dedication both on and off the mat, and we were proud to have him as a resident athlete at the Colorado Springs OTC," said Mike English, USOC chief of sport operations.

"While his untimely passing was a huge loss for the sport community, we hope that these memorials will help perpetuate his legacy."

USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender said: "It is a fitting tribute to one of our great champions.

"He was a mainstay of our US Olympic Training Centre resident wrestling programme.

"We are pleased that his memory will live forever with a bench and tree in his honour in this special setting."

The bench is located outside the OTC's Sports Centre II building, which houses the wrestling room, the weightlifting gym, the strength and conditioning gym and USA Weightlifting.

Meanwhile, the tree is located in a nearby courtyard outside the USA Shooting building, just a few steps from the gymnasium in Sports Centre I, where Durlacher competed in a number of wrestling competitions.

"This is a huge honour for Lindsey," said Michael and Dave Durlacher, Lindsey's brothers.

"So many great athletes come through the US Olympic Training Centre and we are really appreciative of this recognition."

Durlacher won bronze in the 121-pound class at the 2006 International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) World Championships in China, while his fifth-place finish the following year in Azerbaijan helped lead the US to win its first ever Greco-Roman world team title.

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