Allie Morrison has the distinction of being the first Olympic gold medal winner the state of Iowa ever produced. At the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, Morrison won six straight matches to capture the United States’ only wrestling title that year. He even won two matches over Kustaa Pihlajamäki of Finland, the defending champion who had been on four Olympic teams.
A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Morrison went undefeated at the University of Illinois. In 1929 he suffered a broken neck and had to stop wrestling near the end of his junior year.
In 1926, Morrison won his first of three consecutive AAU titles while still a senior in high school. The only loss of his career was at the 1924 Olympic Trials as a sophomore in high school.
Did you know?
Morrison led Marshalltown to a state team title in 1926 as a student coach. The faculty sponsor for the wrestling team that year was legendary basketball coach Adolf Rupp.