LEGENDS by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame | Chronicling the history and legacy of wrestling's all-time greats

LEGENDS by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame | Chronicling the history and legacy of wrestling's all-time greats

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Mat Talk Podcast Network presented Legends, a series dedicated to telling the stories of wrestling's greats. Featuring Outstanding Americans, Distinguished Members, Order of Merit and Medal of Courage winners, Legends will chronicle the stories from the most legendary figures in Olympic, college and high school wrestling.... Show More

Episodes

He devoted a lifetime to the sport of wrestling. But in more than 60 years as an athlete, coach and teacher, Charlie Speidel contributed far more to the lives of others than ever can be recorded in the statistics of achievement.

He was a pioneer for wrestling and helped it gain stature as a major sport in the high schools and colleges of Pennsylvania and across the eastern states. He traveled extensively, often with... Read more

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His interest in wrestling surfaced in 1922 from deep in the waters of San Francisco Bay. After more than half a century of service to the sport, Dr. Albert deFerrari's impact on wrestling had spanned the globe.

His first exposure to the sport followed a shipwreck near the Golden Gate. The ship's cargo of cotton was declared free to any takers. Already a champion swimmer and diver, deFerrari retrieved a truck... Read more

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He packed more wrestling success into five years than most athletes manage in a lifetime of competition. Keith Young spent the next three decades returning those rewards to the sport with full interest.

His Algona High School team didn't offer wrestling until his senior year, and when he joined the University of Northern Iowa you'd hardly expect a youngster of such limited experience to fill the shoes of one... Read more

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As a tall, skinny college freshman, Frank Lewis was "a little tired" after six years of wrestling and planned to give full attention to his studies at Oklahoma State University.

But he needed a physical education credit and a wrestling class would provide an easy grade. Members of the class were required to compete in the all-college intramurals and when he failed to win the championship his pride was stung.... Read more

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In the shadowed ruins of Rome's ancient Basilica, Doug Blubaugh battled the world champion from Iran for the Olympic gold medal. Emamali Habibi had never known defeat.

Three times the Persian attacked, each time throwing the young American into danger. Then a swift counterattack from Blubaugh hurled his opponent to his back ... suddenly the struggle was ended.

Thus did an Oklahoma farm boy reach the... Read more

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In another unearthed tape from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the introduction video for the Class of 1978 Distinguished Members has been released as a special episode of Hall of Fame Legends.

This episode previews the inductions of the third induction class which featured true legends Glen Brand, Ross Flood, Stanley Henson, Harold Nichols, Robin Reed, Gray Simons and Bill Smith.

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A real-life profile of courage, Thomas Irving Green truly personifies the word.

As the all-time wins leader at Weedsport High School in New York, Green wrestled collegiately at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York, and at SUNY Cortland. After college, he turned his attention to officiating and was moving up the ranks, including serving as an assistant mat official at the Division III NCAA Championships in 19... Read more

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The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Outstanding American Dom Gorie.

Beginning his wrestling career in junior high school, Dominic (Pudwill) Gorie always set his sights high. As a wrestler at Palmetto High School in Miami, he forged a standout career record of 41-9-1. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1975 and wrestled four years for le... Read more

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The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and two-time NCAA champion Andre Metzger.

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The latest episode of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Legends Podcast is with 2017 Distinguished Member and NCAA champion Chuck Yagla.

Raised in the wrestling hotbed of Waterloo, Iowa, Chuck Yagla turned a talent for wrestling into a lifelong passion. He began his wrestling journey at Waterloo’s Columbus High School, where he served as a senior team captain and was runner-up in the 1972 Class 3A state tournament... Read more

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When the conversation among Pennsylvania wrestling fans turns to “the best ever,” Jefferson Morgan High School alumnus Cary Kolat’s name is always in the mix.

Kolat compiled a 137-0 high school record with four Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championships, and he was named Outstanding Wrestler at the PIAA tournament each year he competed, an honor no other wrestler has achieved even twice.
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Episode 11 of the Hall of Fame Legends podcast unearths a gem of audio from the late 1970s. It's not confirmed when this was recorded, but noted wrestling historian Don Sayenga serves as a moderator for a special Olympians Breakfast that included wrestlers from all the way back in the 1920s.

This recording has problems with sound quality, but some of the conversations between the group of Olympians, had only bee... Read more

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Episode 10 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features the introduction speeches and acceptance speech from 1979 inductee Joe McDaniel.

McDaniel passed away in 2011, but archives unearthed at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame have given us his voice from that Honors Weekend.

He was destined to be an Olympic champion, but the Games of the XII Olympiad were engulfed in the holo... Read more

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Episode 9 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 2017 Distinguished Member Tony Gizoni. Gizoni passed away just over a month after his 2017 induction.

One of the greatest wrestlers ever to grace the collegiate mat, Tony “Babe” Gizoni was undefeated for seven years in high school and college, winning 108 straight matches. He became the fourth wrestler in Pennsylvania prep history to win... Read more

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Episode 8 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 2015 Order of Merit recipient Dave Bennett.

Known as “Doc” throughout the wrestling community, Dave Bennett got his start in wrestling as a member of the inaugural high school wrestling team at Jamestown High School in North Dakota in 1959. He was a conference place winner and qualified for the NAIA National Championships while attending... Read more

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Episode 7 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 2016 Order of Merit recipient Ron Good of Amateur Wrestling News.

His career on the mat ended in high school where he helped John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City capture a state championship. His involvement with wrestling, however, continued and if you’ve read America’s first and oldest national wrestling publication, Amateur Wres... Read more

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Episode 6 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 1986 Distinguished Member Ben Peterson.

A high school youngster from Wisconsin, competing in the 1968 Olympic trials, caught the eye of veteran coach Harold Nichols. Ben Peterson would become one of Iowa State's greatest wrestlers, and then one of America's brightest stars. He won nearly 100 collegiate matches, was a three-time B... Read more

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Episode 5 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 2015 Distinguished Member Joe Gonzales.

The goal of wrestling is to take an opponent off his feet and place him on the mat. Perhaps no wrestler in collegiate wrestling has done it better—or more often—than Joe Gonzales.

Gonzales perfected the takedown during his time as a 118-pound wrestler at California State-Bakersfield. H... Read more

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Episode 4 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features 2016 Distinguished Member William "Bill" Harlow.

Thought to be the best wrestler ever to come from Tennessee and one of the greatest big men to wrestle at Oklahoma State University, William B. Harlow was a state champion, a three-time NCAA finalist and a three-time national freestyle champion.

When he arrived at Okla... Read more

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Episode 3 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's LEGENDS podcast features award-winning writer and novelist John Irving, a 1992 Outstanding American inductee.

Throughout his literary career, John Irving has demonstrated his ties to wrestling. In his best-known novel, The World According to Garp, the title character is a wrestling enthusiast. The 158-Pound Marriage, winner of a National Endowment for the Arts A... Read more

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