(Photo of 1972 Olympic medalists, and Iowa State teammates Ben Peterson, Chris Taylor, and Dan Gable.)
A letter of confidence on behalf of your family, friends, alumni, teammates, and coaches.
The past days and weeks may not have always gone as planned or desired. But, you are trained mature wrestlers, and it is time to compete. If the last days are interrupted by injury or covid you don’t lose everything in a week or two. You are part of a quality team and you know how to work, adjust, draw on all resources, and finish difficult and seemingly impossible tasks.
When we tell you to stretch and take chances, we also want you to be wise.
When we ask you to be fearless, we don’t mean foolish or out of control.
When we say, leave it all on the mat, we mean using “every avenue of your living being” to complete the job given you.
We have been where you are when everything seemed to fit together. We even wondered if we were geniuses. Then we concluded God shared a smile of approval as we used His creation in us to a whole new level than we had ever known.
We have also been in situations in life where nothing seemed to fit. Our tactics, our thoughts, our mood, and our body all seemed out of order. But we kept going. We kept searching for a way to finish the task before us. Yes, we won some and have unforgettable memories about them. And we have memories of not reaching our goal. They all have mixed together as part of life.
We have not given up on life and urge you to compete today as if it is the only thing that matters. We love and respect you no matter what the results. We send you to do YOUR WORK, and that work requires YOUR ALL.
Our best wishes, our prayers, our love, and our greatest respect go with you as you compete today and in the months ahead. So go and enjoy representing us all.Ben Peterson Olympic Champion