Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute/Museum: New Hall of Champs Honors Greco-Roman Legends

6/5/2008 10:53:00 AM

Kyle Klingman/DGIWIM

WATERLOO, Iowa ? Four of the biggest stars in Greco-Roman history and one of the top politicians of the past decade will be the honorees on Saturday, July 19, at the inaugural inductions into the Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions.

The hall is located in the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum here, and is named for Alan and Gloria Rice, a husband-and wife team that has been one of the most influential forces in American wrestling history. Greco-Roman wrestling is a style that allows only holds above the waist, and Alan Rice has been one of its staunchest advocates for half a century.

The four Greco-Roman champions to be inducted are:

? Steve Fraser, 1984 Olympic champion and a coach of the 2007 World championship team in Greco-Roman;

? Mike Houck, 1985 World champion, the first in U.S. history;

? Dennis Hall, 1995 World champion and a silver medalist in the 1996 Olympics;

? Joe Warren, 2006 World champion and two-time national champion.

In addition, Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House of the United States Congress, will receive the Sport of Lincoln Award for his longtime contribution to the sport. A 10-term Congressman from Illinois, Hastert was a successful college wrestler and high school coach, and has been a major supporter of the sport for decades. He has been an advocate for modifying Title 9 rules to allow for protection of all male sports while supporting growth for women?s athletics, and played a key role in keeping several colleges from dropping the sport.

Hastert was Speaker from 1999 to 2007 and is the longest serving Republican House Speaker in U.S. history. He resigned his Congressional position on Nov. 26, 2007, and today is in demand as a public speaker and as an adviser on a number of prominent issues. His biography, ?Speaker,? will be available for purchase.

The event will include a free Greco-Roman clinic by Dennis Hall and Joe Warren at 6 p.m. Friday (July 18) at the Dan Gable Teaching Center in the museum; an Olympic Spirit Festival at the museum, starting at noon Saturday (July 19); the official inductions at 2:30 p.m. in the new hall of champions, and the induction banquet at the Five Sullivans Brothers Convention Center, at 7 p.m. (social starting at 6 p.m.).

?This is a wonderful opportunity to honor some of America?s greatest athletes and to meet a man who was third in line to the Presidency,? said Mike Chapman, the museum's executive director. ?This is a huge event for the sport of wrestling and we invite all sports fans and Olympic fans to come share this day with us.?

Admission to the museum is $5 per person. The banquet is $25 per person and is limited in seating. Banquet reservations must be made by July 14, by calling the museum at 319-233-0745.

The Olympics Spirit Festival is designed as a lead-in to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The Olympics are scheduled for August 8-24.

The Olympic panel will be moderated by Kyle Klingman, associate director. The audience will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer session.

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