“No one in the United States has done more to promote wrestling than Dan Gable,” Trump said at the ceremony. He is the athletic giant who won one of the most difficult and ancient sports in the world. “He is the greatest wrestler, perhaps, ever. We have never had anyone like him. He made our country very proud. And he is a true winner. You know what a GOT is?” The greatest of all time. ”
The ceremony was the second time in a week that the president had given a medal to an audience where many were not wearing social distances or masks.
“I thank you very much for giving this child the opportunity to receive the highest award here, the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.” And to the sport of wrestling, the first to win this award. Becomes a place. It’s a challenge for everyone, “said Gable, accepting the medal.
During the ceremony, Trump also boasted of a “2-0” tally despite winning the 2020 presidential election.
Describing Gable’s collegiate record, Trump said: “He won 117 matches in a row and lost just one. Well, you know, in politics, I won two, so I was 2-0, and that’s good. Yes, but we will. ” See how it turned out. ”
As a wrestler, Gable set a 117-1 record while at Iowa State University, was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, and won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics, representing the United States.
As a coach at the University of Iowa, Gable’s teams have won 15 NCAA national team titles, and 12 of their athletes have become Olympians. He also coached five Olympic Games.
Trump has hosted two more Medal of Freedom ceremonies at the White House in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States.
Trump announced at a rally in October that he would give the medal to Gable.
According to the White House, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to “individuals who have made significant contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private efforts.” According to the House.
Trump has distanced himself from some of his ancestors who took part in large, public ceremonies inside the White House in honor of several medals of freedom. Presidents often choose to hold ceremonies for personal honors, sometimes with limited press in the Oval Office.
The president has honored many pro athletes with medals since taking office – many of them supporters – former NFL star and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, Boston Celtics point guard Bob Cosby, former Lakers player Jerry West, Woods included. , Former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera and former NFL quarterback Roger Stobach.