I learned to become an assistant coach under a good mentor - a good head coach at the University of Iowa - and they sent me out into the community to promote the sport that they really weren't excelling at and wanted to do more.
So, yeah, I learned to talk because I didn't do it well, and talk helped. Yet, talk didn't win me over; performance and lifestyle did. It wasn't perfect because nothing is perfect. But no place on this Earth is perfect, and there's always room for improvement. The success one has with others, as he mentioned, is more important than the success you have as yourself.
I wouldn't be here on this podium if I just had won this Olympic Gold Medal. It has been a lifetime of work, learning from many others to be an outstanding competitor and person, then taking that knowledge and applying it to many, many others in different ways to have them perform at their highest so they can be real successful, and that group of individuals become team members. And because of their individual great performances, great, historic teams and family performances are the results.
Proof is in the results, and the proof is here today: my immediate family of 23, who are all right here, led by my wife, Kathy, of 46 years. They are living it and, because of this, they all have better chances of success. They are witnessing this historic moment of someone quite ordinary, mostly, going to the highest level as an athlete, and then helping others to do the same through the professional level of coaching. I did so for years, showing others that are just watching, reading, or listening who really strived to do the same, it works. It works. Living proof, right there.
For those that couldn't be here because of limitations or have passed, especially my mother Kate, my dad Mack, and my sister Diane - whom he referenced was murdered in our home as a teenager because she fought for her life and didn't give in - I know they are here and they're all proud.
I thank you very much for giving this kid here the opportunity to reach this level of the highest award a civilian can get: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And, of course, for all those that push the authority - President Donald J. Trump, I thank you for that, including this family. Because, yes, I know this family has wrestled on and off the mat every day.
And to the sport of wrestling being the first to win this award, it becomes a higher challenge to all that participate. By the way, wrestling isn't for everyone, but it should be. And now females are strongly participating across the world.
I'm so honored to be here. Three minutes, but they gave me maybe a little overtime - not much.
You take your time.
And remember: I've never left practice as an athlete or a coach when it was over either. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Congratulations, everybody.
Danny Mack Gable is one of the greatest collegiate athletes and coaches of the 20th century. As a wrestler, he's a three-time All-American, winning two NCAA National Championships and a Gold Medal in 1972 Olympic Games.
He followed his career on the mat with an even more celebrated coaching career at the University of Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to 21 Big Ten championships and 15 National Championships.
The United States is proud to honor Danny Mack Gable for his remarkable contributions to the sports world and to our great American story.
(The Medal of Freedom is presented.) (Applause.)
We're very proud of you as a nation. And thank you for doing such a great job. We appreciate it.
We aren't done yet. (Applause.)
Do you have any questions for Dan, please?
John? For Dan.
For Dan: You know, so many times, college wrestling isn't appreciated in a way that other forms of wrestling are. Do you feel that this lifetime achievement award, for you, fully recognizes the sport of collegiate wrestling?
I look as it - as a inspiration and that others will have something that's beyond just winning on the mat; that they'll be able to want to do something like this. And so it'll enhance our sport. Because it isn't just like, right now, me and him wrestling and whoever wins the match gets a medal. It's more than that. And that's - opens the door right now for a lot of people.
How does it feel to be in the Oval Office for this today?
How does it feel?
To be here.
The one time - the one time I didn't focus on what I needed to do, I lost. So you have to ask all them. (Laughter.) I don't know, where am I? (Laughter.)
Well, we're very proud of you, Dan. And thank you very much. Thank you very much, everybody. We appreciate it.
Mr. President, how is Rudy Giuliani doing?
Rudy is doing well. I just spoke to him. He's doing very well. No temperature. And
he actually called me early this morning. He was the first call I got. No, he's doing very well. That's another champion. Greatest mayor in the history of New York. And what he's doing now is more important. And he will admit that. He was the greatest mayor, did a fantastic job, especially when you see what's going on nowadays, Dan. Rudy Giuliani was a great, great mayor. And what he's doing now - and he will say it - is even more important.
A week from now, Mr. President, the electors will meet to cast their vote. There's not a lot of time between now and then to make your case to overturn the vote. At this point, are you looking to change the outcome of the election or try to make the case to the American people that it wasn't fair?
Well, I think the case has already been made. If you look at the polls, it was a rigged election. You look at the different states. The election was totally rigged. It's a disgrace to our country. It's like a third-world country - these ballots pouring in from everywhere, using machinery that nobody knows ownership, nobody knows anything about. They have "glitches," as they call them. Glitches. The glitches weren't glitches. They got caught sending out thousands of votes - all against me, by the way.
No, this was like from a third-world nation. And I think the case has been made. And now we find out what we can do about it. But you'll see a lot of big things happening over the next couple of days.
And I - very importantly, we're here for a different reason. We're here to present our highest award, our highest achievement, really - something that really speaks to such incredible achievement - to a man who really is a great man and a great figure in sports, not just wrestling, in sports. One of our greatest athletes of all time. And I just want to say it's an honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
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