MT. PLEASANT — You have to have a ‘yes’ to produce a ‘no.’ That was the message three-time national champion and Olympic wrestler Nate Carr had for a captivated audience of Iowa Wesleyan wrestlers on Monday afternoon.
The ‘yes’ can be translated to ones goals. For a student-athlete, that includes a national championship, a degree and a future, all of which were touched on as Carr riled up the room at the Willis Wrestling Center in the second of two speeches given to the center that day.
The ‘no,’ can be translated to distractions. For them, Carr says, it’s skipping practice, skipping class and getting caught up in the college party scene.
“The ‘yes’ means you expecting success,” said Carr. “But you can never have a ‘yes’ if you don’t have a ‘no’ with conviction.”
Carr knows what he’s talking about. The former Iowa State wrestler had a record of 117-20-1 in the 150 pound weight class in college. He won three national titles and qualified for the Olympics, where he won the 68 kilogram freestyle bronze at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Carr, one of five NCAA Division 1 All-Americans in his family, spoke to the wrestler at 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., and gave a special message at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration service later that night.
“The truth is, hard work works,” said Carr. “If you want to be a champion, you have to show up.”
The speeches came just a few weeks before the men and women’s wrestling teams are set to finally hit the mats after a lengthy hold up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tiger men and women will host Fontbonne University on Friday, February 5.
Carr was the second wrestling icon to tour the Willis Wrestling facility. Dan Gable, another former Cyclone and Olympian, toured the facility when it was first being built.
The Iowa Wesleyan men currently have four meets locked into their abbreviated schedule, three of which are set to be at home. The women are scheduled for two meets, both in Mt. Pleasant. Schedules are subject to change.