Douglas M. Blubaugh is an
Olympic Champion in Wrestling (1960, Rome) and a 1986 NYAC Hall of Fame
Blubaugh was born December
31st, 1934 in Ponca City Oklahoma. Blubaugh first showcased his potential at
Ponca City High School, where he won two state championships. Blubaugh went on
to compete at Oklahoma State University where he was a three time NCAA
All-American (1955-1957) and 157-pound NCAA champion in 1957.
Even after Blubaugh’s
collegiate career ended, he continued to compete in freestyle wrestling, winning
two AAU freestyle titles and the Pan-American championship in 1959.
sustained success on the national stage, he was not considered a medal
contender in Rome. His path to gold ran through the unbeatable Iranian, Emam
Ali Habibi. Wrestling was the most popular sport in Iran so, naturally, Habibi
was a celebrity and the pride of the country. Most people expected Habibi to
pin Blubaugh within a few minutes. In a shocking upset, it was Blubaugh who
pinned Habibi, silencing the stunned crowd. He seemed to have shocked his
opponents, too, for Blubaugh blew threw the rest of the field with ease. His
remarkable performance at the 1960 Olympic Games is remembered as one of the
greatest in the history of American wrestling. In addition to his gold medal, Blubaugh
was named the World’s Most Outstanding
Wrestler in 1960.
After retiring from
wrestling, Blubaugh became the head coach at Indiana University.
Blubaugh died tragically
in a car accident on May 16th, 2011.