The U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials come to Iowa City later this week, and one of Iowa’s most famous athletes is leading the charge to make the event a success. Dan Gable has been heading up a public relations campaign to raise awareness about the trials, which start on Saturday.
University of Iowa officials say that more than 10,000 tickets have been sold for both days of competition, and according to Gable, that would be an all-time record for wrestling trial attendance. “I think we are well on our way, the goal went from 8,000…to having the largest crowd which we just broke…and now the goal is to fill the arena up. That means another 3 or 4 thousand yet,” Gable says.
Gable says that if this weekend’s Trials go well, there’s a good chance that the U.S.O.C. would bring them back to Iowa City for the next two Olympics. “We definitely want to make an impact for not just these trials, not just these Olmpics…we are hoping to make such and impact that it will impact the next three Olympics,” Gable says.
Among the wrestlers that will be competing are as many as ten former Hawkeyes, as well as alums of the Iowa State, U.N.I., and Wartburg programs. Gable says that those affiliations won’t matter after Sunday because they will then be competing for America and everyone can cheer for them.
There are still a couple thousand tickets remaining for the event. Gable joked that beyond national pride, there might be a physical incentive to buy tickets for the Trials. “I think it’s the red, white and blue and I think it’s the pride of the United States, and I think it’s more than that. That Dan Gable might be knocking at their door and he’s pretty good with arm bars, and if you don’t wanna buy a ticket, you’re gonna have a broken arm,” Gable says. “I might be coming in, I don’t want you looking over your shoulder, but if you haven’t bought your ticket, I may be knocking.”
Tickets for the Olympic Wrestling Trials can be purchased by going online to IowaCityToLondon.com .
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls