No one has been closer to Gable in recent years than Tom Peckham, a fourth-place finisher in the 1968 Olympics. "We traveled together all over Iowa one summer refinishing wrestling mats," he recalls. "No matter where we'd go, he would always be thinking about wrestling. He'd always do the physical labor the hard way, figuring it would make him tough for wrestling. And every night that we had to stay in a hotel he would go into the bathroom, stuff towels under the door, turn on the hot water and steam off a few pounds. We were also together at the Olympic training camp last summer. He was working out with a wrestler one day, and the other guy was having such a hard time against Dan that he punched him right on the chin. Dan just looked at him and said, 'Why did you do that?' "
Says Gable, "I didn't punch back because I wouldn't want to hurt anyone in practice. And I was a lot smaller than he was." Superwrestler is, obviously, not half-bad at ordinary logic.