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Etched In Stone Podcast featuring three-time NCAA and World Champ Lee Kemp launches

by Jack Carnefix, National Wrestling Hall of Fame

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and USA Wrestling are excited to announce that their Etched In Stone - Stories of Wrestling Legends podcast featuring Lee Kemp, a three-time World champion and a three-time NCAA champion for the University of Wisconsin will launch on Monday at etchedinstonepodcast.com.


Episode II will be released on March 7 followed by Episode III on March 14 and Episode IV on March 21.


In addition to etchedinstonepodcast.com, Episode I will be available through Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.


Podcasts featuring Distinguished Members Lloyd Keaser, Mark Churella, John Smith and Pat Smith are also available at etchedinstonepodcast.com. The Hall of Fame and USA Wrestling are developing future EIS podcasts on Distinguished Members.


The EIS series provides wrestling fans an opportunity to hear legendary wrestlers sharing the trials and tribulations they encountered on the way to becoming one of wrestling’s best. Podcasts also include interviews with coaches, competitors, teammates and others who were part of the journey, giving additional insight on the legend. EIS podcasts are produced by former wrestlers and wrestling insiders, utilizing their knowledge and unique perspective to extract the stories that fans want to hear.


The Kemp podcast is produced by 1976 NCAA wrestling champion Pat Christenson, who also created the EIS series, and Peter LoPinto of Pinto Media. It is narrated by Hall of Fame board member and former board Terry Shockley, who was the first wrestler inducted into the Augustana College Athletic Hall of Honor.


Adopted at the age of five, Kemp did not begin wrestling until the ninth grade. But once started, he scaled the heights faster and farther than any American wrestler before him. He reached the NCAA finals as a true freshman, only to be turned back by a split decision in overtime. He would not lose another college bout. The next three years, Kemp posted 108 victories and one draw, and won three NCAA titles at 158 pounds, becoming the first Black wrestler to win three national titles.


On August 27, 1978, in his first international tournament, Kemp defeated Alexandre Nanev of Bulgaria in the finals at Mexico City to win his first World title. At the age of 21 years and 8 months, he had become the youngest American to capture a gold medal.


He repeated as World champ in 1979 and 1982, becoming the first American to win three times, and added a bronze medal in 1981.


He won four consecutive World Cups, again the first American to do so, and was Pan American Games champion in 1979 and 1983.


Kemp made the 1980 Olympic team, and was an overwhelming gold-medal favorite until President Jimmy Carter’s boycott.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum

America’s shrine to the sport of wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976 to honor the sport of wrestling, preserve its history, recognize extraordinary individual achievements, and inspire future generations. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has museums in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Waterloo, Iowa. The Stillwater, Oklahoma, location reopened in June 2016 following a $3.8 million renovation and now features interactive exhibits and electronic kiosks, as well as the opportunity to watch NCAA Championship matches from the 1930s to present day. It also has the John T. Vaughan Hall of Honors where the greatest names in wrestling are recognized, including iconic granite plaques presented to Distinguished Members since the Hall of Fame opened in 1976. The museum has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world, including the most collegiate and Olympic wrestling uniforms. Wrestling truly is for everyone and the diversity and accessibility of the sport continues to be highlighted through exhibits featuring females, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latino Americans. There is also a library featuring historical documents, including NCAA guides and results, as well as books on the sport. For more information about the Hall of Fame, please visit www.NWHOF.org.

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