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Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum Event

December 7th, 2008 by Tom

A lot has taken place since the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum was flooded on June 10th. I want to thank the hundreds of supporters of our great sport for their monetary donations and to everyone who has helped in the clean up efforts and working with various organizations to move the process along to have the museum up and rolling again by next month.

On October 6, Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, along with Congressman Bruce Braley toured the museum (see photo) to lend their support to our cause. Fortunately, as a not-for-profit organization, we were able to secure a large grant from FEMA to help with the majority of the costs to rebuild the museum.

Magee Construction Company, out of Waterloo, has been busy since early October rebuilding the museum, which has been a large task. As most of your aware, our basement (5,000 square feet) was completely full of water and three feet of water covered the main floor of the museum. New walls, flooring, carpeting, painting have been installed and Magee looks to be completed with the remaining tasks in the next two weeks.

Executive Director, Mike Chapman, estimates we lost 20% of the memorabilia that was on the main floor of the museum. Our staff will be working diligently throughout December to get all the pictures back on the walls, display cases ready and everything else that needs to be accomplished to have the museum open to the public again by the first week of January.

Our grand re-opening will take place on Friday, January 9, 2009, and the museum will be open from 9:00AM until 10:00PM that day. The NWCA National Duals are at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, IA, just a ten minute drive from the museum, on January 10 and 11 with over 80 college teams competing. We will have an autograph show at the museum from 3:00 - 5:00PM on the 9th. The current list of attendees includes: Olympic champions Dan Gable, Ed Banach, Ben Peterson, Bill Smith, Randy Lewis, Doug Blubaugh and two-time NCAA champions and Olympians Chuck Yagla and Ben Askren. University of Iowa All-American tight end and two-time NFL pro bowler Marv Cook will also be participating. The National Duals are a tremendous showcase for the sport of wrestling and if you are able to attend, hopefully you will be able to visit the wrestling museum that weekend as well.

This fall we lost we lost two legends from the wrestling world, Gerry Leeman and Glen Brand. Leeman and Brand were both NCAA Champions and were teammates on the 1948 Olympic team where Brand won the gold and Leeman the silver. Both Gerry and Glen were generous and caring men in addition to their athletic accomplishments. Glen Brand was a substantial contributor to the museum and each April we induct six new members into the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with both families.

The 2009 Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa inductions ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 18 at 1:00PM at the museum. This year's class includes Vic Marcucci, NCAA Champion at Iowa State University and national freestyle champion; Jim Craig, NCAA Champion at Iowa and successful coach, Mike Chapman, wrestling's leading historian, promoter and founder of the museum and author of 21 books; Eric Voelker, two-time NCAA Champion at Iowa State; Champ Martin, legendary coach at Algona (IA) High School and NCAA runner-up at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI); and Franc Freeman, NCAA runner-up at Iowa State Teachers College and coached Bettendorf (IA) High School to two state titles.

Our gift shop has been available on-line since shortly after the flood at www.wrestlingmuseum.org. We have a wide variety of wrestling books, videos, posters, gear and unique memorabilia. We are conducting a holiday sale which will provide a 15% off discount on all merchandise ordered from today through December 15. Not only can you buy cool items, but you will also be helping the museum recover from the flood. See the ad at the bottom of this newsletter.

The 2nd Annual Wrestling Museum Bus Trip is planned for Sunday, February 15. Chuck and Sarah Yagla will again the hosts. The trip will include a tour of the wrestling museum, bus trip to Iowa City, lunch, tour of the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 2:00PM dual meet between Iowa and Minnesota, as well as the trip back to Waterloo. 45 people attended last year's event and a good time was had by all. This year we will look to fill two busses with up to 100 spots available. The cost is only $50 for adults and kids under 18 years old will be $35. To reserve your spot, please call the museum at 319-233-0745.A special salute goes to Bob Buckley, owner of Kirk Gross Company in Waterloo. Bob recently took over the role as president of the museum's board of directors and spearheaded the majority of the financial efforts to restore the museum. Dan Montgomery, who previously worked for Kirk Gross Company, did a terrific job with all the applications and follow up to secure the money we received from FEMA.

The museum also has a weekly radio show called "On the Mat "which airs each Wednesday from 5:00 - 6:00PM Central time. The show is hosted by Kent Sesker, Marketing Director at the museum and co-hosted by area wrestling enthusiast Doug Van Gelder. The show is on AM 1650 out of Cedar Falls, IA, and can also be heard on line at kcnzam.com. We have two guests on per show from throughout the wrestling world.

As you're probably aware, our former associate director at the wrestling museum for the last six years, Kyle Klingman, took a new job with Media Sports Productions in Minneapolis, MN, which he started in September. Media Sports Productions is a company founded by University of Minnesota head coach J Robinson and is dedicated to the promotion of amateur wrestling. Along with Jason Bryant, who recently left Intermat, Kyle is hosting a twice weekly radio show in addition to his other duties. Kyle did a fabulous job at the museum and he is still a columnist for WIN Magazine, where he was named their 2008 Journalist of the Year.

Thanks for your continued support of the wrestling museum. I hope to see many of you on January 9 and if you're not able to make it that day, plan on visiting the museum soon.


Kent Sesker
Marketing Director
Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum

Gable Museum Works Toward January Reopening

October 20th, 2008 by Tom

By PAT KINNEY, Courier News Editor
WATERLOO --- A $400,000 repair and renovation of the flood-damaged Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum began today.

Museum officials have received word the Federal Emergency Management Agency has obligated the bulk of funding necessary for the renovation work to begin.

It's hoped the museum, which has been closed since the June 10 downtown flood, will reopen in time for the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals wrestling tournament at the UNI-Dome Jan. 9-11, said Mike Chapman, the museum's founder and executive director.

Chapman, accompanied by Gable, the Waterloo-born wrestling legend for whom the museum is named, made the announcement as U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and other officials surveyed museum damage as part of a tour today of flood damage in eastern Iowa.

"FEMA has obligated enough money that we feel confident in proceeding, "Chapman said. "We'll be back in business, we hope, by the National Duals. We're convinced if we get construction started this week we can make it.

"We've had tremendous support from both senators, from Congressman Braley, "Chapman said. He said state Rep. Tami Wiencek lent her support on a state level and that Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley wrote a letter of support to FEMA.

The help has come from more than FEMA, Chapman said. "The wrestling community has been terrific. Waterloo people have stepped up, "he said, including people like Vern and Donna Nelson, who provided the museum with temporary administrative offices in the River Plaza building downtown.

Word of the museum's plight also spread to Hollywood, Chapman said. Actor William Baldwin, star of "Backdraft "and other motion pictures, and a former high school and collegiate wrestler, provided an undisclosed but "substantial "monetary gift to museum repairs. Former World Wrestling Federation superstar Bret "The Hitman "Hart gave the museum $1,400 raised from signing autographs when he was here this summer as his father, the late Stu Hart, was inducted in the museum's George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The Cauliflower Alley Club, a nonprofit organization of boxing, pro wrestling and show business people, donated $2,000, and pro wrestler and promoter Harley Race donated $4,000 along with his wife, B.J.

The international amateur wrestling community donated another $20,000, Chapman said.

Wayne Magee Construction of Cedar Falls will perform the renovation work, Chapman said.

The museum relocated from Newton, reopened here in February 2007 and was renamed for Gable, who wrestled for West High School and Iowa State University, won an Olympic gold medal in 1972 and coached the Iowa Hawkeyes to an all-sport record-tying nine consecutive NCAA national championships.

How YOU Can Save the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum

September 6th, 2008 by Tom


"Wrestling teaches you how to get off your back. Old Man River put us on our back, but we're on our feet and fighting to survive."
- Mike Chapman

The massive water damage in the Midwest has affected countless homes and businesses in Iowa. Unfortunately the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum was included.

$250 annual gift for 5 years, $1,250 total.
Donors will receive:
Free lifetime admission to the museum
Save The Museum t-shirt
Dan Gable Asics Gold Poster
Abraham Lincoln or Lou Thesz print

$250 annual gift for 10 years, $2,500 total.
Donors will receive:
Free lifetime admission to the museum
Save The Museum t-shirt Waterloo was one of the many victims of the flooding. We are asking for donations to help restore our fantastic facility. Your assistance is appreciated.

$250 annual gift for 3 years, $750 total.
Donors will receive:
Free lifetime admission to the museum
Save The Museum t-shirt
Dan Gable Asics Gold Poster
Abraham Lincoln or Lou Thesz print
"Match of the Century" print "Gotch/Hackenschmidt

The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum is a not-for-profit organization, 501 3(c). Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. All monies will go to the restoration and preservation of the wrestling museum.

Please view our website at www.wrestlingmuseum.org

Donations can be sent to:
303 Jefferson Street
Waterloo, IA 50701

For more information, contact Kent Sesker at 319-233-0745 or [email protected]

Flood Damage at Gable Museum Makes An Impression

July 6th, 2008 by Tom

By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling

WATERLOO -- It's one thing to read about the flood damage to the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum, but it's another thing altogether to witness it -- and to smell it.

With the museum's 10th annual "Super Weekend "under way in Waterloo, Iowa, fans -- and writers -- were allowed to wander through what once was a terrific exhibition of wrestling through the centuries.

The mustiness and the wet is impossible to describe; it must be smelled. Despite a dozen fans going, the muggy air outside made its way in, mixing with the stale air inside, a sad tonic of mildew, mold and broken dreams.

According to museum staff, the cleanup cost -- ripping out damaged walls, furniture, carpet, gift shop merchandise -- rang in at $60,000. And the museum was hardly the only place to suffer in Iowa. Others lost their homes as the various rivers across the state overflowed following torrential rainfall a few weeks back.

Museum staff believe that storm sewer backup is more to blame for the flooding at their location than the nearby Cedar River; buildings a block away barely got water in their basement, and others were destroyed.

An estimate Thursday pegged the repair cost to get the museum back up to what it was at around $250,000, which includes drywalling, a new furnace, and other parts of the building. That doesn't include the replacement of display cases, merchandise or, perhaps most tragically, the priceless memorabilia and collectibles.

Photo Gallery

A Taste of the Classics with ASICS Gable Wrestling Shoes

November 4th, 2007 by Tom

If you're a fan of older wrestling shoes, the ASICS Gable Wrestling Shoes are just the think you're looking for.

Gable Wrestling shoes have that classic style that no other shoes can beat. Smooth and stylish without the modern look and feel. And best yet, you can get them brand new!

Dan Gable Wrestling Shoes The Gable shoes come in a variety of cool colors including:

  • Green & White
  • Black & Gold
  • Red, White & Blue
  • Orange & Black
  • White, Black & Red
  • Navy, White & Red

These wrestling shoes may look like their from the 1980's, but they kick ass as good as any of today's shoes.

Shop for Gable Wrestling Shoes .

Happy Birthday, Dan Gable!

October 25th, 2007 by Tom

On Thursday, October 25, one of the all-time greats in amateur wrestling and coaching celebrates his 59th birthday...

Happy Birthday,
Dan Gable!

Dan Gable

If you see Daniel Mack Gable, wish him a happy birthday!

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