International Wrestling

Gable Steveson’s Great Month on the Mat

Photo Credit: Richard Immel 

To say that Minnesota Golden Gopher heavyweight and recently minted 2021 Olympian Gable Steveson is is having a great month on the wrestling mat would be an understatement.

Since March 7, the Apple Valley, Minnesota native has accomplished the following:

Became a Big Ten Championship at heavyweight for the second time 

Became a NCAA Division I National Champion at heavyweight for the first time 

Became a 2021 Hodge Trophy winner for the first time

Won the 125 kg division of the 2021 Olympic Team Trials, earning a spot on the men’s freestyle squad for Team USA at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. Again, this was a first-time feat for Steveson.

Those four accolades are monumental achievements to rack up in a single month, but Gable has done precisely that, and he has made it look easy. With this in mind, it likely won’t surprise anyone that Steveson picked up a fifth distinction earlier this week from USA Wrestling: The USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week. The organization announced the award on Tuesday, April 6.

The most recent honor comes after Steveson put together an otherworldly performance during the first weekend in April at the Olympic Team Trials in Fort Worth, Texas. Throughout the two-day international wrestling event, where Steveson took home gold, he earned a nod to his first U.S. Olympic Team at 125 kg in men’s freestyle.

Entering as the No. 2 seed, Steveson dominated his way to the best-of-three finals, recording 11-0 technical falls over Tanner Hall and Greg Kerkvliet, respectively. In the finals championship series, Steveson went head-to-head with two-time Senior World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski.

In their first match, the Gopher wrapped up the bout quickly with a 10-0 win early in the second period over the three-time World Team member. Steveson secured the Olympic spot with a 10-4 decision in the second and deciding match.

Then Steveson topped of the series win with his signature backflip – a freakish display of athleticism for someone weighing 265 pounds.

See round two of Steveson’s best-of-three series match against Gwiazdowski and Steveson’s backflip in the clip below. 

About USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Week Honors

Each week USA Wrestling will select an Athlete of the Week based on wrestling performance for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs to the senior level. Twitter fan votes also play a part in the decision.

To nominate a wrestler for this honor please send the athlete’s name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments and career accolades to USA Wrestling Manager of Communications Taylor Miller at tmiller@usawrestling.org.

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