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|Dan Gable to join celebrities who will roast Rulon Gardner at the Night of Champions in Gladstone, N.J., May 8|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Wrestling legend Dan Gable has joined the cast of celebrities who will participate in the roast of World and Olympic champion Rulon Gardner as part of The Drive and Night of Champions at the fabulous Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J., May 8.
Gable, who was a 1972 Olympic champion and 1971 World champion, has achieved the status of living legend within the sport of wrestling. His athletic career was spectacular, and he went on to become one of the greatest coaches in college sports history at the Univ. of Iowa. He has also coached a number of U.S. Olympic and World teams.
Gable was a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State Univ. He received international recognition for his intensity and amazing training routines on the way to his Olympic title. He also received national attention for losing just one match in his entire high school and college career.
He is considered the most successful college coach of all time, setting numerous career records as the head coach for the Univ. of Iowa. His Iowa teams won 15 NCAA team titles during his 21-year career, including an amazing steak of nine in a row from 1978-86. He retired from college coaching after winning the 1997 NCAA team title, with a record number of team points.
He served as head coach of the 1980, 1984 and 2000 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling teams. The 1980 team was unable to participate in the Moscow Olympics due to the U.S. boycott of the Games. The 1984 U.S. Olympic team dominated the Games, winning seven gold medals and two silver medals. The 2000 Olympic team, which Gable coached with co-head coaches John Smith and Greg Strobel, won four medals including one gold medalist.
Gable also served as the head coach of six U.S. World teams (1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1994, 1999). He was the head coach of the 1986 U.S. Goodwill Games team. Gable served as the head coach of the U.S. World Cup team a total of 11 times.
Gable currently works as an Assistant to the Director for the University of Iowa Athletic Department.
Gable joins a group of impressive individuals who have already agreed to participate in the "roasting of Rulon." Others who will take their best shots at Gardner during the evening will be:
* Steve Fraser - Fraser became the first U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler win an Olympic gold medal when he captured the 198-pound title at the 1984 Olympic Games. Fraser serves as USA Wrestling's National Greco-Roman Coach, and was Gardner's coach at the Olympic Games and World Championships.
* Jim Scherr - Scherr is currently the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, and won three World medals as an athlete. Like Gardner, he attended the Univ. of Nebraska. Scherr served 10 years as Executive Director at USA Wrestling, and worked with Gardner for many years.
* Shane Hamman - A member of the U.S. Olympic Team in weightlifting, Hamman became a friend to Rulon Gardner when the both trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. As another "big man," like Gardner in the heavyweight class of his sport, Hamman understands what it takes to be a champion in an Olympic sport.
* William Baldwin - Known worldwide as Billy Baldwin, this award-winning actor is considered one of the top leading-men in the motion picture industry. Baldwin was a high school and college wrestler, and is a huge fan of international wrestling, following Gardner's career on the Olympic level.
Gardner has also reached legendary status in the sports community. In addition to his Olympic title, Gardner won a World gold medal in 2001, making him the only U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler with both a World and Olympic title. He survived an evening lost in the bitter cold of the Wyoming mountains in 2002, fighting for his life, and ultimately lost a toe to frostbite. After a long rehabilitation, Gardner returned to the mats and went on to win an Olympic bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
It is destined to be a tremendous night of fun, as Rulon's peers roast their friend for the amusement of all.
Along with USA Wrestling, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) will celebrate a special day for those who support the Olympic dream at The Drive and Night of Champions at the fabulous Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J., May 8. Proceeds from this event benefit USA Wrestling along with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic programs.
This day-long celebration of excellence will include two different activities, the Drive of Champions, which features a putting contest, brunch, round of championship golf and a cocktail reception during the day.
In the evening, the Night of Champions will feature and Awards Banquet, Roast and Auction, with celebrity guest Rulon Gardner, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling who shocked the sports world with his victory over previously unbeaten superstar and three-time Olympic champion Alexander Kareline of Russia in Sydney, Australia.
Hamilton Farm is a new private golf club situation on an elegant, historic country estate. The club was born in the spirit of the world's great golf courses, and is designed to set new standards for quality, service and enjoyment of the golf experience. Hamilton Farm Golf Club was selected to host the 2005 HSB Women's World Match Play Championships, which provides the highest check to the winner in the history of the LPGA.
A special achievement award will be given to Jeff Buxton, the longtime head wrestling coach at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. Buxton has coached Blair for two decades, developing the nation's most successful high school wrestling program. Buxton's team has been declared national champions among high school teams numerous times, and many of his student-athletes have gone on to become champions and all-Americans in college. Buxton is active in the state association, New Jersey USA Wrestling, serving as a coach for the Cadet and Junior National Teams, and serving on its Coaches Council.
There are numerous partnership levels where corporations and individuals can participate in the Night and Drive of Champions, with gold, silver and bronze levels of support. In addition, there are opportunities for groups or individuals to only attend the Night of Champions and participate in the festivities that evening.
There is limited space in the golf tournament portion of the day, and those who are interested are encouraged to sign up right away.
For information on the Drive and Night of Champions, contact Larry Nugent of USA Wrestling at 719-598-8181 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steven John Jastrabek at 973-769-1135 or via e-mail at email@example.com