Favorite Olympic Moment: Gardner wins Greco-Roman Gold

All of the college blogs have been chosen to be included in a network wide discussion of our favorite Olympics moments with the big event coming up. While I couldn't come up with any NIU-related conquests first hand, I thought about the last athlete that we had in the Olympics. That was T.C. Dantzler, who placed first in the U.S Nationals from 2006-08. He didn't make it past the qualifying round, but he still made Northern Illinois proud by making it there and representing the country at 37 years of age. Dantzler was a 4-time NCAA tourney qualifier from 1990-1993 and majored in economics.

Wrestling is a program that NIU has always been strong at, so it makes sense to have this as one of my favorite Olympic moments. In fact, my earliest trip to Dekalb was back in high school when I attended a Dave Grant wrestling camp. It was OK, despite having to house us all in the Grant towers. It was still one of the best weeks of my life.


The 29 year old at the time had virtually zero chance against Karelin from Russia, regarded as the best Greco-Roman wrestler of all time. The U.S. had not had much success against other countries in this sport before, but this match broke the global sport wide open. As a wrestler myself in high school, this was pretty awesome. It was like a cold-war breakthrough way past its time.

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