University of Iowa officials unveiled a seven foot bronze statue of former wrestling coach Dan Gable outside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday. Gable led the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA titles and 21 Big Ten championships in 21 years as head coach. Gable later won a gold medal in the Olympics.
The unveiling comes just days before the arena hosts the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials. Olympic wrestling is divided into two divisions, freestyle and Greco-Roman, which are both different than the folkstyle brand of wrestling seen in high school and college matches.
Gable says it might take fans a while to pick up on all the differences. “They are going to think that somebody scored and then the other guy had scored, so it’s going to take a little bit of understanding,” Gable says.
Despite the rule differences, Gable says that knowledgeable wrestling fans should have no trouble figuring things out if they stay patient. “People might think they know how to score wrestling, but than it might not be the same score they come up with. However, it won’t take the Iowa people very long to figure it out,” according to Gable.
He says it’s kind of a nerve-wracking sport that takes patience.
The trials open on Saturday and run through Sunday.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls