President Donald Trump awarded Olympic wrestling legend Dan Gable the presidential Medal of Freedom and praised him as a “true GOAT” during a Monday ceremony at the White House.
“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,” the president said during the ceremony. “He’s the greatest wrestler, probably, ever. We’ve never had anybody like him. He’s made our country very proud.”
“Dan is a true GOAT,” Trump added, referring to the online sports slang acronym for Greatest of All Time. (RELATED: President Donald Trump Awards Presidential Medal Of Freedom To Lou Holtz In Oval Office)
Gable, 72, became one of the most successful wrestlers of all time, breaking countless records during his college career and winning a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 7, 2020
Trump noted that throughout his college wrestling career at Iowa State University, Gable secured two NCAA wrestling championships, three Big Eight titles, and he had a 117-1 record.
The president remarked that Gable pushed past multiple injuries to “reach new heights of greatness” and he was able to win every match at the 1972 Olympics, becoming the first American to win consecutive World and Olympic titles.
Gable went on to coach at the University of Iowa where he secured 355 victories and 15 NCAA titles. He was also the head coach of three U.S. Olympic teams.
Trump and Gable were joined at the event by Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University for several years, as well Republican Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley.
Gable said it has been a “lifetime of work” to learn not only how to be an outstanding competitor and person, but instill the same knowledge in others in his life.
“Today, in recognition of his really exceptional achievements, Dan will become the first wrestler in history to receive this, our most important award, along with the Congressional Medal of Honor,” the president said.