President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to legendary Iowa wrestling athlete and coach Dan Gable on Monday.
“He is a true G.O.A.T,” Trump said during the ceremony, using a term that signifies “Greatest Of All Time.”
“He’s made our country very proud,” Trump added, calling Gable not just a great wrestler but, “one of our greatest athletes of all time.”
Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley (R) and Joni Ernst (R) attended the ceremony as well as former wrestler Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and many members of the Gable family.
Trump recalled that Gable’s wrestling record in high school was 64-0. After joining Iowa State in college, Gable won two NCAA National wrestling championships, three Big Eight titles; and became a three-time All-American, winning 117 straight matches, while only losing once.
“You know, I’m larger than you a little bit. Do you think I could take you in wrestling?” Trump asked jokingly after citing his winning streak.
“You would have no chance,” Gable replied.
Trump also recalled that Gable wrestled in the Munich Olympics and did not give up a single point while winning every match for an Olympic gold medal.
Trump also referred to his winning streak in politics.
“In politics, I won two, so I’m 2-0. So, that’s pretty good, too,” Trump said, alluding to his claim that he won the 2020 presidential election.
In October, Trump announced his decision to present Gable with the award at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa.
Gable has a record of 181-1 in his college wrestling career and is a two-time NCAA National Wrestling Champion.
As a coach, Gable won 15 NCAA National Wrestling Team Titles for the University of Iowa, becoming the all-time most winning coach for the university with 355 victories for the team.
Trump noted that Gable’s record as a coach produced 152 All-American athletes, 106 Big Ten champions, 45 national champions, and 12 Olympians. Moreover, he was the head coach of three U.S. Olympic teams.
“I thank you very much for giving this kid here the opportunity to reach this level of the highest award a civilian can get,” Gable said, noting that becoming the first wrestler to receive the award was “a higher challenge to all that participate.”