Ben Peterson is a 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist, a 1973 World Bronze Medalist, a 1975 Pan-Am Champion, a 1980 World Cup Champion, a 5-time AAU Freestyle Champion, 6-time Midlands Champion and a 2-time NCAA Champion. He’s in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame. He competed for 16 years, coached on a collegiate level for 28 years and directed Camp of Champs Wrestling Camp for 40 years. He is author of the book, ‘Road to Gold’.
Jim began this edition of Crosstalk by asking Ben about the significance of his parents in his life. Ben’s father was a dairy farmer in a small Wisconsin community yet he also worked at a feed mill to supplement the family income. He credited his parents with modeling strong faith and part of that involved taking the kids to church on a consistent basis.
Ben also described the time he was coming home from summer Bible camp when he was involved in an auto accident that put him out of commission for 11 weeks. It caused him to get serious about the things of God and solidified his family in some ways.
Ben’s mother initially viewed wrestling as fighting. So when Ben’s brother Tom began wrestling, their dad began to ask some questions. In the process he found out that wrestling was coordinated by the athletic association as safe and fair competition, therefore he came to the conclusion that it was good for Tom to compete.
Ben received a partial scholarship for Iowa State University, an opportunity that came about when he entered the regional Olympic trials in 1968, the year he graduated from high school.
As this Crosstalk moves along you’ll learn how Ben faced temptations at college during the time of the hippie movement, how he managed to become part of the Olympics, what he remembers about his first Olympic match, the kind of walk he had with the Lord during the Olympics, what his ‘lines of defense’ are, what ‘Camp of Champs’ is and much more.
To learn more about Ben’s book, ‘Road to Gold’ or the Camp of Champs, go to www.campofchamps.org