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Iowa History Daily: August 27 - Dan Gable Wins Gold

Iowa History Daily: On August 27, 1972, Dan Gable captured an Olympic Gold at 149.5 lbs in Munich. One of the greatest freestyle wrestlers and coaches of all-time, Gable excelled on the mat in high school (64-0), college (117-1), and internationally. As a coach, Gable’s teams at Iowa captured 15 team wrestling titles and 45 individual national champions.

Although wrestling success came eventually, swimming was the first sport Gable excelled in as a Waterloo youth. At twelve years old he captured the YMCA state championship in the backstroke. Attending Waterloo West, Gable switched from swimming since the school did not have a program. However, football, baseball, and wrestling offered Gable opportunities to complete. In high school wrestling Gable put up a perfect 64-0 record.

Committed to Iowa State, Gable carried his success on the mat into Ames where he put up an incredible 117-1 record, not falling until the NCAA finals during his senior year. A two-time NCAA Wrestling National Champion and three-time All-America, Gable set a record which still stands for pin streaks.

Following college, Gable went on to success as a World Champion in 1971, and as an Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1972 Munich games. Despite arriving in Germany with a nagging knee injury, Gable still dominated the field. In six matches, the Iowan pinned three opponents and did not allow a single point over the course of the tournament. "I knew because in '71 I beat the top-flight competition in the world," Gable said. "I honestly never thought about the pressure of this being the Olympics."

Following his retirement from the circle, Gable went on to become the most iconic coach in the history of the sport at the University of Iowa. During his time with the Hawkeyes, Gable amassed a stunning 15 NCAA team wrestling titles, while also coaching 152 All-Americans and 45 individual national champions. Coaching at Iowa from 1976 to 1997, Gable’s teams compiled a dual record of 355-21-5. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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