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Coach John Smith at Stillwater Public Library

Stillwater Journal of Stillwater, Oklahoma

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The clock is ticking down, and a 136.5 pound ball of energy is already gleefully jumping into the air. As the clock hits zero, he pumps his knees, bouncing from one side of the Olympic Arena to the other. John Smith, a 23-year old OSU Cowboy, has just won his first Olympic gold medal, defeating a bulky, strapping Armenian forced into Smith's weight class in the Soviet's attempt to beat the unbeatable.

The knee pumping skip of Smith across the arena is one of the most memorable and exuberant reactions in Olympic history. Smith will be at the Stillwater Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. to share this triumphant win, the story of how he got there and the success that followed.

The program is part of the library's OSU and Olympic Wrestling displays being exhibited Nov. 2-30. The objects in the display were provided by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (NWHOF), which is closed for renovation until June 2016 In an effort to keep the artifacts accessible to the public, the museum contacted outside organizations to display material.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to see a little of what the NWHOF has to offer," said Lynda Reynolds, library director. "Those of us who have lived here awhile tend to forget about the amazing attractions we have. Visiting the library's exhibit will whet your appetite to see more at the NWHOF's reopening."

Smith has been the head coach of the OSU wrestling team since 1991. He began wrestling for OSU in 1984, and then redshirted his junior year to hone his craft and prepare for international competition. Smith went on to win two NCAA titles, two Olympic golds and four world championships and is known for his innovative wrestling style, including the "low single," a technique that made him virtually unstoppable.

The program with Smith is free and open to the public. Registration is requested and can be done on the library's website at, by calling (405) 372-3633 x8106 or e-mailing

Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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