President Trump will award former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Speaking at a rally tonight at the Des Moines airport, Trump touted Gable’s 181-1 record as a wrestler at Waterloo West High School and then Iowa State University.
“You have great champions and they’re different and nobody knows why. That man is different and he’s a champion and it’s an honor to present you to the people that love you most: Iowa,” Trump said, to cheers.
Gable won 15 national championships as head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. Trump invited Gable to speak at tonight’s political rally. Gable told the crowd Trump reminded him of some of the athletes he coached.
“This guy’s already a one-time champion, but because he’s open for learning and he’s already very competent, he’s going to be a multi-champion president of the United States of America,” Gable said, to cheers.
Trump indicated Gable’s award ceremony would held in the Oval Office sometime soon.
“I’m used to winning and having to do it on the mat,” Gable said, “but because I did it so many times on the mat and in other places that I’m actually getting some other awards where I can just do it and they give it to me.”
Trump mentioned previous honors Gable has won, as well as his Olympic record.
“He did something never done before. He didn’t yield one point throughout the whole thing,” Trump said. “…In the Olympic finals for the gold medal, he beat the great Russian wrestler..and I’m looking at him and I’m saying to myself: ‘I’m telling you, I could take him,’ but I’d better not try it.”
Gable, who lives in Iowa City, will turn 72 on October 25.