RYAN REEBENACKER, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER
Dan Gable will have to make room in his trophy case.
The iconic Iowa wrestler and coach will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, Gable told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday.
Gable will become the first wrestler to receive the honor, and has said he is in talks with the Trump administration officials to solidify a date for his visit. President Donald Trump, in the midst of the 2020 campaign, intends to announce his intention to award the Olympic gold-medalist tonight at a campaign rally in Iowa, according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs.
The Congressional Wrestling Caucus sent a letter to the White House in August urging the president to consider Gable for the honor, citing that “to date, no wrestler has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Our entire wrestling community, young and old, athletes and fans, would embrace his recognition across our great nation.”
“A lot of what Gable has done throughout his career is inspiring to athletes like me,” Kyle Briggs, senior wrestler at Wartburg College, said. “He’s one of those generational athletes – generational people. He’s not only an inspiration to me; he’s an inspiration to my parents, to my uncle who actually wrestled against Gable in high school.”
Gable, 71, has amassed a record unseen in the wrestling community. At Iowa State University, he was a two-time NCAA National Wrestling Champion and three-time all-American. He set NCAA records in winning and pin streaks, and 117-1 in college competition.
As head coach at the University of Iowa from 1976 to 1997, Gable amassed 15 NCAA National Wrestling Team Titles while compiling a career record of 355-21-5, He coached 152 All-Americans, 45 National Champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 12 Olympians.