Motivational Speaker Kyle Dake Wins Fourth Consecutive Wrestling World Title

Motivational speaker Kyle Dake became the second American wrestler to win four straight world championships, helping the country earn its most gold medals ever at a single global championship. Dake broke the previous record of five gold medals in a single year for the U.S.


For the first time ever, the United States concluded the world championships with the most medals of any country. Russia won the most medals at the previous three world championships despite being barred this year due to the conflict in Ukraine.


For the first time ever when it was not the host nation, the United States took the top spot in the total number of medals won in Olympic wrestling last year. Dake, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and John Smith were the only Americans to win four consecutive world championships. Smith won all of his matches at 62 kg, while Dake won his first two at the non-Olympic 79 kg weight class and his final two at 74 kg (plus two Olympic golds).


In a rematch of the world championship, Dake defeated Tajmuraz Salkazanov of Slovakia 3-1. In the Tokyo Olympic 74kg event, wrestlers from the now-banned nations of Russia and Belarus won gold and silver.


In order to train with a team that includes Olympic winners Kyle Snyder and David Taylor, Dake will then transfer from Cornell, where he set a record by becoming the only wrestler to win NCAA championships at four different weights (2010–13), to Penn State.


Olympic bronze medalists J'den Cox (92 kg) and Thomas Gilman also gained silver medals for the U.S. (57kg). Iran’s Kamran Ghasempour defeated Cox 2-0 in the title match for the second time in a row. Gilman lost his championship match 7-2 to Albanian Zelimkhan Abakarov.


In 2023, Cox hopes to fight Snyder at 97kg and admitted, “I already got my tears out of me, and I’m probably going to have some more.”


Eight out of ten weight classes for the American men's freestylers to reach the gold-medal final set a program record (though in many years there have not been that many classes at worlds and the absence of Belarus and Russia is noteworthy).