Yojiro Uetake Obata

January 12, 1943 - Present

After winning the national high school championship of Japan, he came to the United States to complete his education. By the time Yojiro Uetake returned to his native land, he had given a whole generation of American wrestlers an education in winning technique.

He won all 58 of his collegiate matches for Oklahoma State University and three Big Eight Conference titles. Three times a National Collegiate champion, he was voted outstanding wrestler of the national tournament as a junior and again as a senior.

After his sophomore year of competition in 1964, "Yo-Jo" returned home to Japan to win the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. Four years later, in Mexico City, he repeated this achievement and became the first Japanese wrestler ever to win two championships in the Olympic Games.

He was the complete wrestler, blending speed, strength and unparalleled skills to dominate all areas of the sport - takedowns, control, escapes and falls. Seldom did any opponent score offensive points against him.

"I don't know how good he was," said his collegiate coach, Myron Roderick. "because I never saw him challenged."

Such was the range of his ability that every match became a small "clinic" in itself, attracting coaches and rival contestants from all parts of the arena to learn from his masterful techniques.

While preparing for his second Olympic crown, he spent two years as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, then returned home to become Japan's national freestyle coach. He guided his country's wrestlers into the 1972 Olympics at Munich and the 1976 Games at Montreal.

Upon his marriage, he took the surname of his wife's family, Obata.

As an athlete of awesome skills and ultimate achievement, Yojiro Uetake Obata is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
1980
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1966
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
130
Place
1
Season
1965
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
130
Place
1
Season
1964
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
130
Place
1

College Season Records:

Season
1966
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Senior
Bouts
23
Wins
23
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
7
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
1965
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Junior
Bouts
13
Wins
13
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
2
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
1964
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Sophomore
Bouts
22
Wins
22
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
2
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
Career
Bouts
58
Wins
58
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
11
Win PCT.
100

All Rankings:

Season
1966
Rank Date
02/23/1966
Weight
130
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations