I did some research a while back about Presidents that wrestled… Here is what I found.
Some Presidents have been known to engage in athletic activities during their time in office.
Theodore Roosevelt was known for his love of boxing and wrestling, and he had a wrestling mat installed in the White House. He also had a private gymnasium installed in the White House during his presidency.
Abraham Lincoln, who was known for his strength and athleticism. According to some reports, Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler in his youth and only lost one match out of approximately 300.
Barack Obama, who was a high school wrestler during his time at Punahou School in Hawaii. He was a member of the varsity wrestling team, and he even earned a letter-man jacket for his athletic achievements.
Another example is Gerald Ford, who was a star athlete in high school and college. He played football at the University of Michigan, but he also wrestled in high school and was a state champion in his weight class.
Ronald Reagan was also a high school wrestler. He attended Dixon High School in Illinois and was a member of the wrestling team there.
Not amateur wrestling but George Bush, did participate in wrestling-related events during his presidency. In 2007, he attended a “Sumo and Wrestling Exhibition” in Japan, where he watched sumo and traditional Japanese wrestling matches. He also hosted a wrestling event at the White House in 2008, which featured professional wrestlers such as Triple H and John Cena.
Jimmy Carter’s wrestling impact was not very positive… Carter did have a connection to wrestling during his presidency. In 1980, the United States boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. As a result, the U.S. Olympic wrestling team was unable to compete.
Carter later expressed regret for the decision to boycott the Olympics and acknowledged the negative impact it had on American athletes. In 1984, the U.S. hosted the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and Carter attended the opening ceremony as a former President. The U.S. wrestling team won several medals at those Games, including gold medals for Jeff Blatnick and Steve Fraser.
Trump’s connection to wrestling: In 2020, President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dan Gable in recognition of his contributions to the sport of wrestling and his dedication to coaching and mentorship. During the ceremony, Trump praised Gable’s accomplishments and described him as a “true American legend.”
Joe Biden as Vice President, Biden did have a connection to wrestling. In 2012, he attended the Summer Olympics in London, where he watched American wrestler Jordan Burroughs win the gold medal in the men’s freestyle wrestling competition. Biden also met with members of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team during his visit to London.
Happy Presidents Day