The wrestling trivia on this page were provided to me by Sandy Stevens.  Sandy announced at every one of the Junior Nationals events since they started in Iowa City in 1971 until a family illness forced her to miss the 1999 tournament.  She also has announced at the NCAA Division I National Championships and in the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games, along with a host of other regional, national and international events.  In 1998 she was chosen by the Distinguished Members of the Hall of Fame to receive the Order of Merit.


Wrestling trivia questions

  1. Wrestling became an Olympic sport in 708 B.C. and was also the final and decisive event of what competition?
    1. Decathlon
    2. Pentathlon
    3. Marathon
    4. Triathlon.

    Answer: B

  2. Which U.S. President often talked about his wrestling days as a young man in Illinois?

    Abraham Lincoln.

  3. Who was the youngest U.S. wrestler to win a world title?

    Lee Kemp won in 1978 at age 21.  (John Smith was 22 when he won the title in 1987.)

  4. Who was the first wrestler to win three NCAA titles?

    Earl McCready, OSU, 1928-30 (also first foreign-born, Canada)

  5. Where and when was the first NCAA Wrestling Tournament held?

    Iowa State University (Ames) in 1928.  49 wrestlers competed on two mats.  Tickets were $1.50 (50 cents for students) per session, with all session reserved seats costing $3.00.  The first & second place finishers automatically qualified for the Olympic Trials.

  6. The Wrestling Hall of Fame opened its doors for the first time in what city, state, and year?

    Stillwater, OK, 1974

  7. Who was the USA's first brothers duo to win the Olympics in the same year?

    Dave and Mark Schultz, 1984, followed by Ed and Lou Banach.

  8. In what year did the U.S. win all the gold medals in wrestling in the Olympic games?

    1904. Americans were the only team entered in the sport that year.

  9. What form of American dancing in the 1940s took its name from what type of wrestling popular in and native to Switzerland?

    Swing; this form of wrestling is done by holding your opponent while trying to swing him in circles and to the ground.  According to the World Book Encyclopia, there are 54 styles of wrestling known to exist today, with a wide range of rules and formats.

  10. What family of brothers holds the NCAA record for the greatest number of individuals earning All-American status?

    The Carr family from Erie, PA, with five brothers.

    The three Smith brothers were seeded #1 nine times, winning seven titles (LeRoy, 2/1; John, 2/2; Pat, 4/4; Mark, 1/0)

  11. What state held the first recognized state championship tournament?

    Iowa, held in Ames, in 1921.

  12. In The Illiad, Homer recounts a famous wrestling match between Ajax and what other mythological figure?
    1. Zeus
    2. Ulysses
    3. Milo
    4. Venus

    Answer: B

  13. Two females wrestled each other in an amateur high school match for the first time on Dec. 10, 1987, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Who were they?

    Dawn Ward and Tracey Porter, competing at 119 pounds

  14. Amateur wrestling in the U.S. was first organized in 1888. In what year did the first national tournament take place?


  15. In the 1904 Olympics, a heavyweight was anyone over what weight?
    1. 181 pounds
    2. 163 pounds
    3. 158 pounds

    Answer: C

  16. The longest Olympics wrestling contest ever was the 1912 semifinal bout between Martin Klein of Russia and Alfred Asikainen of Finland. How long did they wrestle?
    1. 3 hours
    2. 6 hours
    3. 11 hours

    Answer: C. (The two struggled for hours underneath the hot sun, stopping every 1/2 hour for a refreshment break.  Finally, Klein won with a fall.  However, he was so exhausted by his ordeal that he was unable to take part in the championship match, and Claes Johnason of Sweden won the gold by default.)

  17. What competitor from the former Soviet Union became the only freestyle wrestler to win gold medals at three different Olympics?

    Aleksandr Medved (1964 Tokyo - 97kg, 214 pounds; 1968 Mexico City - unlimited; 1976 Munich - unlimited).

  18. Hungary's Gyula Bobis began wrestling as a flyweight and kept moving up in divisions as he grew, until 1948 - at age 38 - when he won the Olympic gold in what weight class?


  19. Doug Blubaugh of Ponca City, OK, qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by beating what former Oklahoma State teammate after four scoreless draws?

    Phil Kinyon. (In fact, they wrestled to a draw in 10 straight matches before Blubaugh finally won a decision.)

  20. What USA wrestler won an Olympic medal in 1988 despite suffering a fractured nose in his second match?

    John Smith (he also wrestled with a abscessed ear)

  21. A super heavyweight (maximum 286 pounds) from Mauritania traveled 10,000 miles to the 1984 Olympics but was disqualified and prevented from competing. Why?

    He weighed only 216, below the minimum.

  22. In 1984, Greco Olympic champion Pasquale Passarelli spent the last 96 seconds of the title match in what position?

    In a back body arch to avoid being pinned. He won, 8-5

  23. When 1988 Greco gold medalist Kim Young-nam of South Korea began wrestling, his high school could not afford wrestling mats. On what did he practice?

    The wooden floor of the gym, sparsely covered with dried rice stalks.

  24. What two wrestlers have won the James. E. Sullivan Award, presented annually to the best amateur athlete in the U.S.?

    John Smith, 1990, and Bruce Baumgartner, 1995.

  25. What two World Champion wrestlers were members of a youth wrestling club in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that was coached by 1980 Olympian Mark Johnson?

    Zeke Jones, 1991 freestyle world champ, and Tricia Saunders, 1992, 1996 women's world titles.

  26. What wrestler holds the NCAA record for the most falls in a season?

    Chris Taylor of Iowa State, who pinned 44 opponents at heavyweight, 1973

  27. Who is the only wrestler to win three NCAA titles and three world titles?

    Lee Kemp (1976-78, Wisconsin; 1978, 1979, 1982 world)

  28. What is the highest placing that two-time Olympic Champion John Smith earned at the Junior National Championships in freestyle?

    Fourth (1982, 1983).

  29. Name the three pairs of twin brothers who won NCAA Div. I championships under coach Dan Gable

    Ed and Lou Banach, Terry and Tom Brands, Troy and Terry Steiner.



Other Wrestling Trivia

Wrestling is considered the world's oldest sport. Its origins can be traced back 15,000 years to cave drawings in France. More than 40 centuries ago, wrestling was popular in Egypt, where paintings of men in wrestling positions grace the walls of pyramids.

Wrestling was one of the sports of the ancient Olympic Games and was included in the first modern Olympic Games.

The sport was born at the dawn of civilization. Though it its roots in ancient Greece, Greco-Roman-style wrestling was popular in Switzerland and other alpine countries in the 1220s. It resurfaced again in the mid-1880s and quickly spread to the rest of the continent.

Such famed men as Jacob and Ulysses earned various degrees of fame as wrestlers. (Seen on a Lassen College T-shirt: "Wrestling: the world’s oldest and greatest sport ... and the only one sanctioned by God."

America's wrestling heritage dates to days of the Revolutionary War and was popular during the Civil War among Union soldiers. The first organized American national tournament was held in New York in 1887, and the U.S. first competed in Olympic wrestling in 1904. Collegiate tournaments began in 1928, with a slightly different style of wrestling often referred to as folkstyle or scholastic style.

About 1.5 million athletes participate in a wrestling program, from the kids' clubs to the Senior/Olympic level. About 1,800 women wrestlers are registered in the U.S.

The late Harold Nichols, long-time successful coach at Iowa State University, convinced the NCAA to go from 11 weights to 10 - because you could get 10 wrestlers in two cars. He also convinced them that the final session should feature just the title matches.

Famous former wrestlers include: at least seven former presidents, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt; Bruce Jenner; Robin Williams; authors John Irving (Tile World According to Garp) and Ken Kesey (One Flew Over tile Cuckoo's Nest); General Norman Schwartzkopf; the three acting Baldwin brothers; actors Kirk Douglas, Tom Cruise and Mr. T; William Kerslake, winner of 15 national Freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments at heavyweight in the l950s, who was the co-inventor of the first ion thruster for space propulsion at NASA; Michael Collins, commanding pilot of Apollo 11; Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug; Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Sec'y of Defense and head of the FBI; boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, and Pittsburgh Steeler Carleton Hasselrig, a three-time NCAA Div. I champion at Pittsburgh-Johnston, who made the NFL despite never having played college football.



Prominent Moments in American Wrestling History

The first organized AAU National Tournament is held In New York City.

The first Olympic Games of the modern era are held In Athens, Greece with nine sports, including wrestling.

Iowan Frank Gotch defeats Russian trained George Hackenschmidt for the world heavyweight professional title in Chicago, setting off a wrestling boom in America.

The first high school state tournament is held in Ames, Iowa.

The first NCAA tournament is held in Ames, Iowa.

The first world championships in which the U.S. competes are held In Japan. The U.S. freestyle and Greco-Roman teams both finish sixth.

Rick Sanders (114.5) and Fred Fozzard (180.5) become the first Americans to win world freestyle titles.

The Junior National championships, now run by USA Wrestling and considered to be the largest wrestling tournament in the world, is born in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dan Gable (149.6) and Wayne Wells (163) win Olympic gold medals, becoming the first U.S. restlers to win two world titles.

USA Wrestling becomes the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States.

The U.S. wins its first-ever medals in Olympic Greco-Roman competition, as Steve Fraser (198) and Jeff Blatnick (hwt) both win golds.

USA Wrestling is recognized by FILA, the international governing body for wrestling, as a permanent representative.

First Cadet World Championships held in Collingswood, Canada.

John Smith wins the first of what will become six straight world freestyle titles (including two Olympic championships), all at 136.5 pounds.

John Smith wins Sullivan Award, given each year to the outstanding amateur athlete in America.

USA wins its first-ever World Team Title in Toronto, Canada.

Pat Smith becomes the first wrestler to ever win four NCAA titles.