Olympic Flashback: Dan Gable Flawless en Route to Wrestling Gold (1972)

By Andrew Fisher

As we countdown to the 2012 London Olympics, it’s only right that we take a look at some of the great moments in US Olympic history.

Let’s take a look at Rantsports.com‘s Olympic Flashback #4 –

Dan Gable Wins Gold in Freestyle Wrestling – Munich, West Germany 1972

Dan Gable (USA) vs. Ruslan Ashraliev (USSR) – Lightweight Final Round


Absolutely perfect – Gable did not surrender a single point the entire Olympics.

Gable’s performance in the 72 games, is one of the greatest displays of dominance in Olympic history. Not a single point given up over six matches, not one. Wrestlers go undefeated all the time, but perfection is extremely rare…

Gable was undefeated (182-0) in high school and college (Iowa State) going into his final collegiate match in 1970, but was upset, and admittedly changed forever. Over the next two years, Gable lost only one match in international competition…

The truth is that most people know Dan Gable for his coaching career at the University of Iowa (1976 – 1997).

During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, his teams won 16 NCAA championships, including 9 consecutive championships from 1978 to 1986, and 21 consecutive Big Ten championships. This is a dynasty that goes toe to toe with the best of em.

Without question, Dan Gable is the best amateur wrestler of all-time. His success on and off the mat is unparalleled, and it’s a shame more people don’t know of his greatness.

This is old timey video from 1972 shows Gable training for the Olympics, while telling the story of his loss in his final college match. It’s does a great job of portraying who Gable is, and of showing his determination to never let himself be defeated again. 


Check out more Olympic Flashbacks:

Michael Johnson Wins Double Gold – Atlanta 1996

Vince Carter Dunks Over 7’2 Frenchman – Sydney 2000

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish







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