MINNEAPOLIS – Olympic Gold Medalist and Golden Gopher heavyweight Gable Steveson will be returning to Minnesota for his senior season to defend his NCAA national title as announced on Thursday morning. The news comes off the heels of a separate news release by the WWE that Steveson has signed an unprecedented NIL deal with the organization to be a part of the WWE roster while also finishing his collegiate career.
The announcement is only the latest installment to the list of accolades that Steveson has accrued in 2021. The decorated year for Steveson began at the conclusion of the collegiate season in which he collected his second Big Ten title, his first NCAA title, a Dan Hodge Trophy, and an Olympic Games berth in less than a month’s span, capping off one of the most impressive and most dominant runs the sport has ever seen.
That led him to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he claimed Olympic Gold in dramatic fashion after knocking off three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili in the final seconds with a buzzer-beater takedown. The reaction to his amazing gold-medal moment transcended the sport of wrestling, and Steveson has captivated his audience ever since in the build-up to Thursday’s decision.
Looking forward to the 2021-22 campaign, Steveson will return to Minnesota as the spearhead of the Golden Gopher lineup, as he looks to cement himself within the upper echelon of Minnesota Wrestling greats. In his three years in the Maroon & Gold, Steveson has been the winningest wrestler in program history (.971 win %) and will look to become the eighth wrestler in program history with three conference titles and only the sixth in program history with multiple NCAA titles.
The University of Minnesota wrestling program is still awaiting the release of the 2021-22 schedule.