SPORTS

1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Dan Brand, Wrestling

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WRESTLING

Wrestling has been part of the Olympic program since the Athens Games in 1896, except for the 1900 Olympic Games. Freestyle wrestling and weight classes were introduced at the St. Louis Games in 1904. The IOC voted to drop wrestling from the Olympic program in 2013, but following changes to the rules and guidelines, the sport was readmitted for the 2016 Games.

Dan Gable is one of the most prominent figures in U.S. wrestling. Dan won Olympic gold at the 1972 Games in Munich in men’s freestyle, followed by a 10-year run where he won 299 matches and lost only six. The 1984 Olympics saw the first Olympic medal for the U.S. in Greco-Roman wrestling. Jeff Blatnick, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and having his spleen and appendix removed, defeated Sweden’s Tomas Johansson to bring home the gold medal. At the Sydney 2000 Games, American Rulon Gardner delivered one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history when he beat the undefeated Russian Aleksandr Karelin. Other prominent names in Olympic wrestling include Kenny Monday, Jordan Burroughs and Bruce Baumgartner.

Women’s Olympic wrestling was introduced in 2004. The 2016 Games in Rio marked Team USA’s first-ever gold medal in women’s wrestling. Helen Maroulis earned a 4-1 victory over Japan’s Saori Yoshida, an Olympic three-time defending champion and a 13-time world champion.

Wrestling Hall of Famers

Bruce Baumgartner

Bruce Baumgartner captured medals — including two gold medals — in four consecutive Olympic Games, becoming just the fourth American to do so.

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Dan Gable

Perhaps the greatest wrestler ever, Dan Gable went undefeated as a high schooler, lost just one match in college and did not allow a point in winning a gold medal at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games.

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Notable moments

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