Wrestler Gable Steveson follows Olympic gold with NCAA title and retires

DETROIT — Olympic gold medalist Steveson sprocket Minnesota successfully defended their heavyweight title in their final college game at the NCAA Championships on Saturday night.

Top-seeded Steveson, who won gold in Tokyo last summer, won 6-2 against second-seeded Arizona State. Cohlton Schultz. Steveson took control from the start, scoring a takedown in the opening seconds.

After the match, he bowed three times to the crowd. Fans at Little Caesars Arena continued to cheer, urging him to do his victory backflip. He executed it perfectly and flexed again.

Then he walked to the center of the mat, sat down, and took off his shoes and left them there, the age-old practice of wrestlers signaling their retirement. Steveson has won his last 54 games.

“I’m done,” he said in a post-match ESPN interview. “I did what I came to do. I was going to win Olympic gold and win the national tournament again.

Steveson’s retirement from amateur wrestling was expected. He said he wanted to become a professional wrestler and would compete at WrestleMania in April, although he didn’t say if he would be involved in any way.

“I hope to gain many WWE fans when I take the next step,” he said.

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Robert J. King