Five Gold Medalists in One Special Night

All five Iowa State Olympic gold medalist wrestlers will return to Ames to be honored at a Golden Legacy Dinner June 17 at The Hotel at Gateway Center.  Olympic champions Glen Brand (London, 1948), Dan Gable (Munich, 1972), Ben Peterson (Munich, 1972), Kevin Jackson (Barcelona, 1992) and Cael Sanderson (Athens, 2004) will speak at the celebration. 

Tickets are $75 each or $550 for a table of eight.  Proceeds will benefit the Iowa State wrestling program.  A social hour will start at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and the
program at 8 p.m.

"This should be an extraordinary event in Iowa State athletics history," ISU athletics director Bruce Van De Velde said. "Just having one of these legendary competitors back would be great.  To have all of them together at once in the same room is unprecedented."

Priority dinner seating will be given to reserved tables of eight on a first-come basis with additional priority given to Cyclone Wrestling Club and National Cyclone Club members.  Individual reserved tickets will then be seated on a first-come basis subject to table availability.  Table or ticket orders
must be made by June 3.  Checks should be made out to the ISU Foundation and mailed to Diane Shearer, ISU Athletic Development, Jacobson Athletic Building, Ames, IA 50011.  For more information, call 515-294-5022.

The Golden Legacy Dinner is being staged in conjunction with the USA Wrestling World Team Trials June 18-19 in Hilton Coliseum.  All-session tickets are $60 for adults and $35 for students 18 years of age and younger.  Single-day tickets are also available and can be ordered at

The honorees:

Glen Brand (174-pounds, London, 1948)

One of Iowa State's most prolific wrestlers, Clarion, Iowa's Glen Brand won 51 of 54 career bouts as a Cyclone, pinning 30 opponents.  The Cyclone star wrestled through the 1948 season without a blemish, compiling an 11-0 mark. The junior threw six straight opponents to earn conference and NCAA titles at 175 pounds.  His triumphs made him Iowa State's first three-time All-American
wrestler.  Brand's strong junior season earned him Iowa State athlete of the year honors. He qualified for the 1948 Olympic team, defeating eight-straight opponents at the Olympic Trials.  At the London Games, Brand defeated Erik Linden of Sweden to become the first ISU athlete to earn an Olympic gold medal, winning the 174-pound class.

Dan Gable (149.5 pounds, Munich, 1972)

Dan Gable's achievements transcend the sport of wrestling.  At Iowa State, he compiled a career mark of 118-1. He was a three-time All-American and three-time Big Eight Conference champion.  Gable led ISU to NCAA championships in 1969 and 1970 and a Big Eight team title in 1970.  Gable went on to earn titles at the Pan American Games, the Tbilisi Tournament and the World Championship.  He won an unprecedented six Midlands Open championships and was the meet's most outstanding wrestler five times.

At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Gable won every match without surrendering a single point. Gable was inducted into the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985.

After his career as a wrestler, Gable became one of the most prolific coaches in the history of organized sports, at the University of Iowa.  Gable's wrestlers captured 15 NCAA titles in his 21 seasons as head coach, including an NCAA record-tying nine straight crowns from 1978-86. 

Gable, a Waterloo, Iowa native, served as the head coach for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980 and 1984. His Olympic freestyle teams won seven gold medals.

Ben Peterson (198 pounds, Munich 1972)

A wrestling legend in an Iowa State program with many legacies, Ben Peterson captured two NCAA titles and three Big Eight championships before attaining Olympic glory. The Comstock, Wis. Native wrestled at Iowa State from 1969-72, helping ISU earn two national team titles and one runner-up finish.

Peterson earned the 198-pound freestyle gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.  At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Peterson captured the silver medal.  Peterson is the only Iowa State wrestler to win two Olympic medals.  He is also one of just four U.S. wrestlers named to three Olympic teams, as he earned a spot on the 1980 team for the Moscow games, which were boycotted by the U.S.

Kevin Jackson (180.5 pounds, Barcelona 1992)

Kevin Jackson earned All-America honors four times, the first three years at LSU.  After transferring to Iowa State for the 1986-87 season, he rolled up a 30-3-1 record and helped Iowa State win the 1987 NCAA Championship, placing second at 167 pounds. 

The East Lansing, Mich., native is considered one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers in U.S. history, winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona at 180.5 pounds and claiming World Championship gold medals in both 1991 and 1995.  Jackson is one of only five U.S. wrestlers to claim three career world-level titles.

Jackson was named the National Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling in January of 2001. During his first year, the U.S. freestyle team won the 2001 World Cup and finished fifth in the 2001 World Championships.  He was a coach for the U.S. Olympic team at the 2004 Athens Games.

Cael Sanderson

Cael Sanderson has literally gone where no wrestler has been before.  Sanderson finished his Iowa State wrestling career with a four-year mark of 159-0 and is the only undefeated four-time NCAA champion in collegiate history. His efforts helped ISU to second-place NCAA finishes in 2000 and 2002.  Sanderson won three-straight Dan Hodge Trophies as the nation's best collegiate wrestler.

Sanderson's post-collegiate career only enhanced his stature as an American sports icon.  The Heber City, Utah, native won the 2004 Olympic gold medal at 185 pounds in Athens, beating Korea's Moon Eiu-Jae 3-1 in the final match.  Today, Sanderson is an assistant on the Iowa State coaching staff.

AllCyclones Top Stories