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Grappling with blindness earns spot in hall

By MIKE FINNEY
The News Journal
04/16/2006

DOVER -- Ed Bordley has always had the clear vision of a winner. It did not matter to him that he was legally blind, even while competing in a sport as challenging as wrestling.

Bordley never just wanted to compete. He wanted to win, no matter how long the odds.

The 1975 Caesar Rodney High graduate pulled off an amazing feat during his junior year when he captured the state championship in the 167-pound weight class at the 18th annual Delaware Interscholastic Wrestling Tournament.

"Sometimes it's hard to put into words exactly what that moment meant, "said Bordley, after having his arm raised as a state champ in 1974.

Now, 32 years later, Bordley, 50, is being honored again as one of nine inductees into the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame.

Also honored in Saturday night's ceremony at the Modern Maturity Center were Louis Brummell Sr., Edward Taylor, Willard Cephas, Charles Laws, Maynard Miles, Kenneth Hynson, Donald Haman and Clinton Burke.

The honor overwhelmed Bordley, now an attorney for the Department of Justice in Arlington, Va..

"It's nice to be honored anytime, but this is something again that I never dreamed of, "said Bordley, who was the first legally blind student to attend CR. "Just having this opportunity, it's just a tremendous honor."

Bordley, who also threw the discus for the Riders' track and field team, went on to wrestle at Harvard from 1975-78. In 1980, he was a gold medalist in wrestling at the Olympic Games for the Disabled in Holland.

"I think the biggest challenges that face a blind wrestler are takedowns, "Bordley said. "You have to find them and be quick enough to grab folks or to play defensive. But that was about it. Once you were on the mats, everything was good."

At CR, Bordley became friends with two-time state champion Morgan Rigby and fine-tuned his skills with many extra hours of work after practice.

"Until I came to CR and I met all the state champions and saw how important it was, that's when [a state championship] became really something to shoot for, "he said.

Bordley, a native of Wyoming, turned up his interest in wrestling while adjusting to life at a different school.

"It was somewhat challenging coming to CR, because everything was being done new, "he said. "They were trying to get blind folks into the Delaware high schools at that point. Everything was new, such as getting books in Braille, tapes, and teachers and other students just to have somebody around who was also blind. I didn't use a cane or a dog, though I use a dog now. So the task of just walking around the school was often interesting."

Contact Mike Finney at 734-7945 or [email protected]



Source | Posted April 20th, 2006. Filed under Amateur Wrestling

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