Last Updated on 12th April 2022 by Dan
With all the recent excitement of the Rio Olympic games, what many of us wouldn’t know is that a famous Olympic Wrestler died from Mesothelioma, the American, Terry McCann.
Terry’s career included winning three consecutive AAU National Championships, and he was also recognised as holding the only undefeated international record of his time, being the only man to go undefeated against the Russians.
Terry should have gone to his first Olympics back in 1956, but unfortunately, as he was still in school, he made the responsible decision to stay in school and finish his studies.
Fours years later, Terry finally made it onto the 1960 Olympic team, although he almost didn’t make it due to a knee injury which could have jeopardised his place on the American team.
He lost his first match on points, but he then won all his other successive matches and received a Gold Medal for Wrestling and for America.
Terry was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2005, a year after he had initially began to experience symptoms, which included being short of breath and pains in his chest.
As Terry was so super fit due to the wrestling career he’d had, and also being an avid surfer, he ignored the symptoms for a year before being diagnosed and just thought it was down to getting older.
Terry had previously worked for a few weeks in the late 1950’s in an oil refinery while he was in training for the Olympic games.
He later discovered that the dust he used to be covered in was infact asbestos, although he had no idea at the time, and certainly didn’t know what the implications would be later in life.
After his diagnosis, Terry openly criticised those in the asbestos industry and leaders of big American corporations that were involved in the mining, manufacturing and import/export of asbestos products.
He said, “They knew it would kill, but they sold it anyway, and made money. There’s a word for that. Eventually, the bad guys will be tried by the highest court, and they will pay.”
In 2006, the Olympic wrestler died from Mesothelioma.
Terry died as a result of his battle with mesothelioma cancer, having only been diagnosed a year earlier, and symptoms only showing 2 years previous to his death.
He will be very fondly remembered for his achievements as being one of America’s greatest Olympians.
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Published Aug 23, 2016