National Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Lincoln Lobby

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In the summer of 1832, a young Abe Lincoln ambled into a small frontier village in New Salem, Illinois. A few months later, the six foot, four-inch Lincoln was challenged to a wrestling match by Jack Armstrong, the town toughie. … Continue reading

Olympic Pavilion

Olympic Pavilion

The modern Olympic Games began in Athens in 1896, with wrestling one of the ten sports involved. Visitors to this area will see posters from every Olympics since 1896, and a record of how the American wrestlers fared in each … Continue reading

NCAA Pavilion

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The first NCAA tournament was held in Ames, Iowa, in 1928. This wing lists every NCAA champion in all three divisions — I, II and III – as well as champions from the NAIA national collegiate tournament. The pavilion is … Continue reading

Jacob’s Wall

Jacob's Wall

The first sport mentioned in the Bible comes from the book of Genesis, where a young shepherd named Jacob wrestles the Angel of the Lord late one night. The near life-size etching on Jacob’s Wall takes visitors back nearly 4000 … Continue reading

Wrestling in Antiquity

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“The Epic of Gilgamesh” was composed in ancient Sumer over 5000 years ago and is considered to be the oldest piece of extant literature in the world. This story features a wrestling match between Gilgamesh the king and a great … Continue reading

The Arno P. Niemand Theater

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Visitors can sit and relax in the Arno P. Niemand Theater and watch a fascinating 40-minute film on the life and career of Dan Gable, produced by ESPN for Sports Century. Continue reading

Dean Rockwell Library and Research Center

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Students of the sport, or people who just love to read, will enjoy the Dean Rockwell Library and Research Center. There are over 300 books about wrestling, one dating back to 1757, and thousands of magazines and newspapers. In addition, … Continue reading

Dan Gable Corner

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Three large walls and a huge display case chronicle the career of Dan Gable, the museum’s namesake. On display are the warm-ups and shoes he wore in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where he won the gold medal at 149.5 … Continue reading

Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa

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The history of Iowa wrestling comes alive in the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame. This wing features the greatest wrestlers and coaches in Iowa history. The hall is named for Glen Brand, who was NCAA and Olympic champion at … Continue reading

Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions

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This wing pays tribute to the greatest Greco-Roman wrestlers in American history. The hall is named for Alan Rice, an Olympic wrestler and coach from Minnesota, and his wife Gloria, an internationally known expert in pairings. The hall includes many … Continue reading

Dan Gable Teaching Center

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Want to learn techniques and strategies from some of the greatest champions in history? The Dan Gable Teaching Center is designed to give visitors a feel for what a wrestling practice room looks like, and also to hold special clinics … Continue reading

World Championships Wall

The greatest wrestlers from all around the world are featured on the “World Championships” wall. Here visitors will see photos of such legends as Ivan Yarigian, Alexander Karelin and Sergei Belaglazov of the former Soviet Union, as well as Japanese … Continue reading

Wrestling in Early America

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The wall entitled “Wrestling in Early America” gives museum visitors an overview of what wrestling was like in the days of the Native Americans, and when Colonists favored a style that came from Europe known as collar and elbow. Included … Continue reading

William Muldoon and the Civil War

Wrestling was one of the two most popular activities in the Union camps between battles in the Civil War, as General Grant thought the sport made his soldiers tough both mentally and physically. William Muldoon of New York City became … Continue reading

Honored Stars

Besides Dan Gable, several of the greatest wrestlers of all time are given special treatment in the museum. You will see separate displays for such stars as Dave Schultz, Dan Hodge, Alexander Karelin, John Smith, Cael Sanderson and Frank Gotch.

Matman Gift Ship

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Our extensive gift shop is sponsored by Warren and Jayne DePrenger, owners of MATMAN wrestling company. The gift shop has a wide array of wrestling items for every fan, including books, videos, posters, trading cards, Dan Gable Museum apparel, and … Continue reading

Corporate Sponsors Walls

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The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum is fortunate to have five major corporate sponsors. MATMAN, Asics, USA Wrestling, the AAU and BRUTE all have display walls in honor of their support of the museum.

Bob Siddens, Keith Young, Dave Natvig Lounge

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Visitors can break up their tour with a pit stop at the lounge named for three of the most successful coaches in Iowa history.