STILLWATER — As Jordan Oliver walked off the raised mat at Wells Fargo Arena wearing an Oklahoma State singlet for the last time, he saw a young Iowa Hawkeyes fan and Oliver tossed the orange headgear he had worn in the match to win his second national championship.
After Oliver was ushered around to do multiple media interviews and receive his 2013 NCAA national championship plaque, the young fan finally got an opportunity to ask the OSU wrestler to autograph the youngster’s new prized possession.
The moment was reminiscent to Oliver of his days back in Easton, Pa., when Coleman Scott — who later became an OSU wrestler, Olympic bronze medalist and had Oliver has a training partner — gave a young Oliver a pair of wrestling shoes after winning a high school state championship. It’s a prize Oliver, a 22-year-old college senior, still possesses to this day and seldom allows anybody to touch.
“I always give out stuff to kids because years ago I was that little kid asking for gear and autographs,” Oliver said. “It just reminded me of a younger me being out there. Those little kids really look up to me, and I love all that support and all my fans.
“Why not make that little kid’s day? He’s going to cherish that headgear for some time.”
There was reason for the young Iowa fan to cherish the headgear. It’s the same reason every wrestling fan in the arena in Des Moines, Iowa, was envious of the kid — it is a piece of history tied directly to one of the greatest wrestlers from one of the top two greatest college wrestling programs in the world.
“I’m just glad to be a part of that tradition and success,” Oliver said. “It’s definitely an awesome accomplishment and honor for me to join the list of great wrestlers such as John Smith, Kenny Monday, Pat Smith and guys like that.”