Trump gives Medal of Freedom to wrestling legend Dan Gable
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President Trump, during a White House ceremony Monday to award the Medal of Freedom to college wrestling legend Dan Gable, jokingly challenged the Olympic gold medalist to a match, asking, “Think I could take you?”
“Dan is a true GOAT,” the president said, using the acronym for Greatest of All Time.
Trump awarded Gable the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor, for his wrestling accomplishments that began in his native Iowa and continued on the world stage when he won a gold medal in the 1972 OlympicSummer Games in Munich, West Germany.
The president noted the hall of fame grappler’s remarkable record of 64 wins in high school, 117-1 record at Iowa State and his winning six matches in the Olympics and playfully questioned whether he would pin Gable.
“Now I’m larger than you a little bit. You think I could take you in wrestling? Would I have a big advantage?” Trump asked.
“You’d have no chance,” the fit-looking 72-year-old responded.
The president went on to praise Gable’s record at Iowa State — where he was a three-time All-American and a three-time Big Eight champion.
“Well in politics, I won two. So I’m 2-0 and that’s pretty good, too. We’ll see how that turns out,” Trump said.
The president has yet to concede the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, who has secured 306 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 232.
Following a career coaching at the University of Iowa, where his teams won 15 NCAA National Team titles and compiled a record of 355-21, Gable was named the Hawkeye State’s top sports figure in the past 100 years by ESPN.
He was also inducted into the United States of America Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“No one has done more to promote wrestling in America than Dan Gable. He’s an athletic giant who conquered one of the most difficult and ancient sports in the world. He’s the greatest wrestler probably ever. We’ve never had anybody like him. He’s made our country very proud,” the president said, remarking that Gable was the first wrestler to receive the award.
Gable, a motivational speaker, talked about how he worked his entire life to achieve success.
“I wouldn’t be here on this podium if I just had won this Olympic gold medal. It has been a lifetime of work, learning from many others to be an outstanding competitor and person. Then taking that knowledge and applying it to many, many others in different ways to have them perform at their highest so they can be real successful. And that group of individuals become team members, and because of their individual great performances, great historic teams and family performances are the results,” Gable said.
“Proof is in the results,” he said, pointing out the 23 members of his immediate family attending the White House ceremony.
He also thanked the president for awarding him the honor and noted how Trump overcame hardship during his four years in the White House.
“I thank you for that, including his family. Because, yes, I know this family has wrestled on and off the mat, every day,” Gable said. “And to the sport of wrestling, being the first to win this award, it becomes a higher challenge to all that participate. By the way, wrestling isn’t for everyone, but it should be.”
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