Dan Gable brought his true stories of challenge and triumph to the Perry Performing Arts Center Thursday afternoon when he spoke to about 600 Perry High School students.
Gable told the Perry students that in 1964, when he was about their age, he heard a motivational speaker at his high school named Bob Richards, an American athlete from Texas who made three U.S. Olympic Teams as a pole vaulter. Richards, ordained as a minister in the Church of the Brethren, was later nicknamed the Vaulting Vicar and the Pole Vaulting Parson.
Gable bought Richards’ 1959 book, “The Heart of a Champion,” that day in 1964 at his high school, “and it changed my life,” Gable said. He still carries Richards’ book with him today.
“‘The Heart of a Champion’ and Bob Richards will never be outdated,” Gable said, “for its philosophies and principals hold up eternally. Now more than ever, we need people like Bob who can point us to the ideals and attitudes that lead to success.”
Gable, a 1972 Olympic gold medalist, will discuss his own philosophy of life when he delivers a free public speech Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Perry Performing Arts Center. He will discuss and then sign the latest volume of his autobiography, “A Wrestling Life 2.”
The PAC event will be preceded by a ticketed meet-and-greet reception with Gable at 5:30 p.m. at the Hotel Pattee.
Gable won 15 NCAA team titles during his tenure as wrestling head coach at the University of Iowa between 1976 and 1997. His remarkable story of pain and loss has been often told, and Oct. 25, 2013, was recognized as Dan Gable Day in Iowa.
Gable’s Perry appearance is sponsored by the Dallas County Library Association as part of the 2017 All Dallas County Reads One Book.