MINNEAPOLIS — It’s 100 days to the Olympic Summer Games and Gable Steveson, a 20-year-old student at the University of Minnesota is preparing to make the trip to Tokyo, Japan. The 260-pounder will represent Team USA as part of the wrestling squad.
Steveson is all smiles sitting in his dorm room, thinking ahead to what it will mean representing his country at the games, saying “It’s crazy that I qualified for the Olympics and I’m going to Tokyo.”
There’s good reason the Junior from the U of M is pumped. He’s the reigning NCAA Division 1 National Champion, a two-time Big Ten Conference champion, two-time All-American and was honored as a top college wrestler. But for him, the Olympics is the ultimate dream come true, “Not many 20 year olds make the Olympic team," he said. "I think I’m the third or second youngest ever to touch the team and especially in my weight class.”
On the verge of becoming wrestling royalty, you could say his journey started at birth. He’s named after Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gabel. His dad was a wrestler, both his brothers spent time on the mat and Gable was introduced to the sport at a very young age.
Perhaps because he’s been connected to the sport his entire life, it’s easy for him to get lost in other pleasures. “If it’s not Xbox, I go to the mall because I like looking at clothes." Steveson said "I don’t even need to buy; I just like looking at them.”
Down the road he’s considering Pro Wrestling as an option. He’s trained with WWE legend Brock Lesnar and started the hype-machine rolling, boldly stating he’d be the best champion they’ve had. “I know I have it in me to be one of the best and my time is going to come soon with them and I’m looking forward to it,” Steveson boasts.
Confidence like that shows he’s got the moxie for big-time wrestling and understands to be successful at that level, showmanship is just as important as his skills in the ring. However Pro Wrestling is just part of the plan for this 20 year old with big aspirations.
“I love the mic, I love the camera. My main goal is to go into movies," Steveson said. "I just like doing all that stuff. I love being in front of the camera and having to express myself on camera.”
For now, though, with the Olympics on the horizon, gold is all that’s on Gable Steveson’s mind. “Wrestling-wise I’ll sit for a little bit and lock it back-in in early May. We got some tournaments coming up so I’ll get to those and get some gold medals too.”