Such a collapse was not expected from a man whose chief rival throughout his career had been Schultz. Schultz had beaten Monday for years, then Monday began to dominate and had beaten Schultz in their last seven matches. Yet when Monday won the gold in Seoul in 1988 after beating Schultz in the U.S. trials, it was Schultz who lifted Monday on his shoulders and paraded him around the mat. When Monday lost the gold medal match in 1992 in Barcelona, it was Schultz who hugged him and picked up his bag and carried it back to the Olympic Village. It was Monday who begged USA Wrestling to sever all ties with Du Pont months before Schultz's murder, after Du Pont threw three black wrestlers out of his Team Foxcatcher camp because he associated the color black with death. "This guy is crazy," Monday said at the time, "and it's going to blow up in our faces."
Whether Schultz would have fared better in these Olympics is debatable, but he most certainly would have been in shape. Schultz had been wrestling all three of the years Monday had taken off, and he was widely expected to beat Monday in the trials.
That match never happened, thanks to the scraggly-haired, shaggy-bearded man sitting in solitary in Delaware County Prison in Thornton, Pa., who is not allowed to watch television, listen to the radio or read magazines and newspapers, and who takes little more than tea and crackers in his 69-square-foot cell, a place that must seem a long way from his 800-acre estate in Newtown Square, Pa. It was unclear whether Du Pont knew how the U.S. team he had bankrolled for the last eight years had fared in Atlanta. The three American gold medals—won by Angle, Brands and 125-pounder Kendall Cross—equaled the biggest American haul in a nonboycotted Olympics since 1924. Not only that, but heavyweight Bruce Baumgartner's bronze gave him more world championship and Olympic medals (13) than any other wrestler in history. It seems likely that Du Pont knew. He has had more than 150 visits from his employees during his six months in jail and another 400 from his lawyers, who say he is mentally unfit to stand trial. "The law of Moses requires death," Mark Schultz says, "but we don't live under that law. It's too bad."
Du Pont's trial should begin next month, and Nancy is the star witness. She has already appeared in court six times, and now that she has moved her family from Philadelphia to Palo Alto, Calif., to be closer to Dave's parents, the proceeding is going to be that much more difficult. Angle may leave the Dave Schultz Club to join his coaches at the Sunkist Club in Phoenix, but Nancy will continue to try to raise money for her wrestlers. They need her. She needs them.
They will miss each other. When Bulgarian 114-pounder Valentin Dimitrov Jordanov won the gold medal last Friday afternoon, he came sprinting off the mat, around the barriers, and scooped Alex Schultz out of the crowd. He headed for the locker room, where the guards panicked for a moment until Jordanov smiled hugely and yelped, "This is my boy here! This is my son!"
It was a lovely moment, but it couldn't last. Jordanov got on a plane for home after the Olympics ended, as did Angle and Monday and everybody else. Now the hard part begins.
Tough as nails, Schultzy.