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  June 30, 2001

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Torch passed to up-and-comers

By BRET HART -- SLAM! Wrestling
 I ran into a teacher from my son Blade's school and he remarked that he saw my nephews, Harry and Ted, wrestle the other day and it was his opinion they had the best match on the show.

 Bravo, boys!

 It seems a lot of people think I have a problem with Harts making a living in wrestling these days, which is utterly ridiculous. I suppose some people have convinced themselves that since I've gone through a couple of unusually bad situations in wrestling, I begrudge others from making a living in the business. The fact is, I achieved more success in wrestling than I ever dreamed I would, got to travel all over the world and I still enjoy meeting people from all walks of life.

 The way I look at it, the positives I got from being a pro wrestler far outweigh the negatives -- except for Owen -- which can't even be measured on the same scale.

 I only hope Davey Boy Smith's son, Harry, and my sister Georgia's son, Ted Annis, aka "Teddy Hart," are able to achieve even half the success in wrestling that Owen and I did. If Owen and I can be of any inspiration to them, I hope they look to emulate Owen's lifestyle and my workstyle. In a 24-year career in the ring, I never hurt anybody while at the same time always staying believable. I feel satisfaction and take pride in that achievement and I hope the next generation of wrestling Harts do likewise.

 I have a picture hanging in my house that I like because it's obvious how these boys have always dreamed of being wrestlers, emblematic of how it runs in the Hart blood.

 Matt even at a young age was an agile athlete whose promising future was stolen by flesh-eating disease a few years ago. I can imagine what he must think, watching his older brother, Ted, wishing he could be here to tag up with him, like I did with Keith.

 Matt was a lot like Owen in that after the older boys left the ring -- the one that was always in Stu's yard much like other families have a swing set -- he'd take to the ring.

 Many times, Hart kids would be wrestling and flipping each other around doing stuff that a lot of the pros hadn't even figured out yet.

 My oldest son, Dallas lost his interest in wrestling a few years ago and has since developed quite a talent for skateboarding and snowboarding.

 Meanwhile, Blade has dedicated himself to wanting to become a pro hockey player, his most recent prized possession, a stick that Freddie Brathwaite signed and gave him, which turned out to be from his last game in a Flames jersey.

 My brother Keith's boys, especially Connor, have also pursued wrestling but in amateur competition, which I have a lot of respect for, either as a means unto itself or as one road to pro wrestling.

 My dad's belief is the best way to become good pro wrestler is to first become a standout amateur wrestler, like Keith, Owen and myself. I'm sure Keith and his boys will be checking out the big amateur wrestling meet at the U of C this weekend, including gold-medal-winning Olympian, Daniel Igali.

 If you want to stop by, it's in the gym at 10 a.m. today, tomorrow and at 4 p.m. Monday.

 To all the young Harts, the best way to go far is to never forget where you came from; gain advantage from it and live up to it, too, further defining the Hart family name in wrestling as one of continued excellence. Do honour to those here and departed, on whose shoulders you stand.

 Good luck from Uncle Bret.

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