Wrestling is a nondiscriminatory sport where size and gender do not matter. It is, without a doubt, the hardest sport in which to compete and boasts the best conditioned athletes in the world. The 1980s produced a group of American wrestlers unmatched in history that included eleven nominees to the NCAA 75th Anniversary Wrestling Team; thirty-three, four-time All-Americans; seven of the top nine wrestlers in history; and five amateur wrestlers who accounted for seven NCAA titles, three Olympic gold medals, six world gold medals, and forty-one United States national championships.
In his tribute to the Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling, award-winning sportswriter Reginald Rowe shines a light on the era’s most dominant athletes that include Mean Gene (Mills) the Pinning Machine as he embarked on his quest for Olympic gold that was ended by President Carter and launched an all-out war against an Iranian wrestler. Also profiled is Andre Metzger, the winningest wrestler in history who warned the wrestling world of John DuPont’s insanity; Tim Vanni, also known as Mr. Perseverance; and Rick Stewart who pinned Dave Schultz in the 1981 NCAA finals. Included are poignant remembrances of Schultz by men who wrestled with and against him.
The Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling: 1980s shares stories and statistics that pay tribute to the greatest collegiate and international wrestlers ever produced in the United States.