People Who Kick Buts: With Dan Gable
Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
- Born on October 25, 1948 in Waterloo, Iowa.
- Dan Gable is an American amateur wrestler.
- He is famous for having only lost one match in his entire Iowa State University collegiate career—his last, and winning gold at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany while not giving up a single point.
- He was the head coach at the University of Iowa where he won 16 NCAA team titles from 1976–1997, after which he turned over his head coaching duties to Jim Zalesky.
- In 2006, after the program took a downfall, Gable asked Tom Brands to become the head coach.
- As a sophomore in high school, Gable experienced a personal tragedy. His older sister, Diane, was brutally raped and murdered May 31, 1964, in the Gable family home, while Dan and his parents were on vacation. Diane Gable’s killer, John Thomas Kyle (a classmate of Dan Gable’s), pleaded guilty to charges in connection with her death and was sentenced to life in prison.
- Gable later recalled that the event gave him a singular passion for wrestling as a way to uplift his shattered family. In his documentary Gable, he said, “I needed to give them enough entertainment that they didn’t have to look other places.