On Monday, President Donald J. Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Danny Mack Gable. This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Mr. Gable is undoubtedly one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Born and raised in Iowa, Gable represented his home state on the mat at Iowa State University, where he compiled an astonishing 117-1 record. During the course of his collegiate career, Gable was a two-time NCAA Wrestling Champion, three-time All-American, and three-time Big Eight Champion. After college, Gable represented the United States of America on the world stage. He won titles in the 1971 Pan American Games, the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the 1972 Tbilisi Tournament, and in six Midlands Opens. He also won a Gold Medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
Gable’s wrestling career was just the beginning of his success. He went on to become the winningest coach in the history of the University of Iowa, as Gable’s teams won 15 NCAA National Team Titles and compiled an overall career record of 355-21 from 1976 to 1997. Gable coached 152 All-Americans, 45 National Champions, 106 Big Ten Champions, and 12 Olympians. Gable also coached at 5 Olympic Games, 6 United States World Teams, and at 10 World Cups, among several other international tournaments.
Gable has earned many well-deserved accolades for his unmatched accomplishments, including being named the ‘Nation’s Outstanding Wrestler’ by the Amateur Athletic Union and the United States Wrestling Federation and one of the top coaches in the twentieth century and Iowa’s top sports figure in the past 100 years by ESPN. He is also in the United States of America Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Gable has inspired thousands of athletes in Iowa, the United States, and the world. Today, Gable still resides in the Hawkeye State with his wife, Kathy. He is an author, motivational speaker, father, and grandfather.