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Wrestling Icons- John Smith

Posted on October 24, 2011 , by charley

John Smith is without a doubt an undeniable American wrestling legend.  The achievements he has gained during his career and as a wrestler and coach are phenomenal, almost impossible for someone to be able to re-enact. Naturally his career started in high school, but is love for wrestling began at home.

Born in Oklahoma and living in Del City at the time, Smith grew up into a wrestling
family.  He had one older brother called Leroy and two younger brothers call Pat and Mark.  They all wrestled at the Del City High School and then took their careers onto the Oklahoma State University. Smith’s High School record ended up at 105-5, which in itself is a highlight that seemed to be the start of a successful wrestling career.  In his first year of college he entered the NCAA competition, but didn't place anywhere.  Yearning to turn this around, during the following year, Smith entered the NCAA and the Big Eight competition, and came 1st runner up in both competitions. In ’86 he took a red-shirt year and didn't enter the NCAA competition, but still entered USA Senior Freestyle Championship and the Goodwill Games competition, claiming victory in both. Up to this point everything was going great for Smith, but his finest moments came in ’87 when he won gold in the Pan American Games and World Championships in the 62kg freestyle event.  After this nothing could hold him back, the following year he won Gold in the Olympic Games in Seoul in the same category.   Smith was unstoppable, he won gold every year in different competitions including 3 gold medals in the World Championships from ’89-’91 and then another gold medal in the Pan American Games in 1991.  But his
finest moment came in 1992, a moment which he will behold for the rest of his life;
he won the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympic Games.  This moment single handily credited him with a place in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997. Now coaching at the Oklahoma State University, he is raising and teaching kids how to wrestle with techniques to perform on the opposition.  This including a move that
was named after him, the ‘John Smith Single’. Smith’s college career record finished 154-7 along with this his domestic freestyle record at 80-0 and his international freestyle record at 100-5. He is a master of technique, an outstanding athlete and a
natural all American. John Smith we salute you, you truly are a wrestling icon.

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