At Tokyo in 1964, Japan’s Osamu Watanabe ended his career undefeated by winning his 186th consecutive match to claim Olympic gold.
Before point scoring was introduced, wrestling matches continued until one wrestler was finally forced to the ground.
Freestyle Wrestling developed in part from “Catch as Catch Can”, a variety of Wrestling that was popular in the 19th century and at fairs and festivals across the UK and the US.
The longest Wrestling contest in Olympic history occurred at Stockholm in 1912, when a middleweight match between Russia’s Martin Klein and Finland’s Alfred Asikainen went on for an amazing 11 hours.
Alexander Karelin “The Russian Bear” won Olympic Gold medals in 1988, 1992 and 1996 for the former Soviet Union and Russia. He was undefeated in international competitions from 1997 through 2000.
Greek Philosopher Plato was a great wrestling fan and competitor. He showed up to the games of the ancient Olympics incognito and stayed in makeshift barracks to avoid being recognized.
Tricia Saunders, “the Great Dame” of American women’s wrestling won 4 World Championships and 11 National titles. When she completed her competitive career in 2001 she had never lost a single match to a U.S. competitor in women’s wrestling.
Dave Shultz, a California native, was a World and Olympic Champion and won his first U.S. National title while still in High School. Many experts feel that his senior year was the most successful by a high school wrestler in history.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion has seen wrestlers have great success. UFC fighters Gray Maynard, Matt Hughes, Josh Koschek, Phil Davis, Quinton Jackson, John Fitch, Rashad Evans, Randy Couture, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, Frankie Edgar and George St. Pierre all have extensive amateur wrestling backgrounds.
U.S. President George Washington was known to have won a wrestling championship in Virginia. Other Presidents who practiced wrestling include Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and William Howard Taft.
In CIF State Wrestling Championships history there has only been one 4-time champion. Darrell Vasquez of Bakersfield won championships in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.