Gable cruised to gold medal in Munich
August 31, 1972 - Competing in the 149½-pound class at the Olympics, Dan Gable was bothered by an injury. "The knee hurt, but once you get past the pain barrier, the only thing to worry about is the knee locking up," Gable said. "If that happens, you can't wrestle. Luckily, it never happened."
The tenacious Gable impressively won the gold medal by defeating six opponents (pinning three) without allowing a point. Gable was so far ahead going into today's final match, against the Soviet Union's Ruslan Ashuraliyev, he could have lost 7-0 and still won the gold under Olympic rules. After defeating Ashuraliyev 3-0, Gable said that his main focus was just staying off his back.
His victory was crushing to the Soviets, who had promised to find a wrestler who could defeat him. But Gable was certain he wouldn't be leaving Munich without the gold.
"I knew because in '71 I beat the top-flight competition in the world," he says. "I honestly never thought about the pressure of this being the Olympics."
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