Olympic wrestler Nate Carr shares respect, gospel with student-athletes

Oct. 21, 2014
For Immediate Release


 Nate Carr, a three-time national champion wrestler at Iowa State, speaks to student-athletes at Powell Athletic Center. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)
Nate Carr, a three-time national champion wrestler at Iowa State, speaks to student-athletes at Powell Athletic Center. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)

By Jordan Alves, sports information graduate assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Nate Carr, a two-time Big-8 (Big 12, now) champion and three-time national champion wrestler at Iowa State, was on campus for Homecoming festivities. Carr kicked off the 2014-15 Champions of Character Initiative speakers for Campbellsville University student-athletes with a “BANG!”

Dr. DeWayne Frazier, CU’s associate vice president for Academic Affairs, contacted Carr and brought the Hall of Fame wrestler to campus.

“It is not often that we have the opportunity to have a sporting legend come to campus and talk to our students,” said Frazier. “But having him work with the kids in the community and give up his time for us shows the respectable man he is. He takes pride in his ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just by spending a few minutes with him, you will feel energized and renewed.”

“I’d like to thank DeWayne for doing a lot of the leg work in getting Nate Carr on campus,” said CU Assistant Athletics Director Jim Hardy. “We are very fortunate to have someone of his caliber to speak to our athletes.”

Carr recorded an overall record of 115-7 while wrestling at Erie Tech High School and collected a Pennsylvania State Championship.

While attending Iowa State, Carr recorded a 117-20 record at the 150-pound weight class, that set him up for every athlete’s dream – becoming an Olympian.

Carr’s dream came true as he went on to win the 1986 World Cup and Pan American Championships. He competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where he received a Bronze medal.

But the great thing about Carr’s story is his entire life background before the fame. He grew up with 15 brothers and sisters. Out of those 16 total kids in the Carr household, five (including Nate) were eventually named NCAA All-Americans and two (including Nate) went on to compete in the Olympic Games.

How could you not respect a guy with accomplishments like that? He was able to do more in an eight-year span than most will ever do in a lifetime. But what put him a head higher than most people is he did it with class. Carr did it by respecting others.

That is what Carr spoke on Oct.10 in Powell Athletic Center on the CU campus. His focus wasn’t just respect your elders because they are older but it was about respecting someone who could pour into you and make a difference in your life.

“It was great to have Nate Carr with us but it was even better that he focused in on one of our character initiative words in respect,” said Hardy.

Carr allowed his father to pour into him at a young age. His father was a wrestling champion and Nate wanted to grow up like his father. He allowed his high school and college coaches to pour into him when he got older. He learned to take instructions and how to follow. He let the people who had authority make a change in his life and give him perspective.

Carr mentioned that is exactly what Jesus Christ calls people to do. God has established authority and calls on his children to do the same by making a difference.

Another example Carr used was how United States service men and women will pour into their team. When it comes time to eat meals, the leaders of the squadron will not eat before their soldiers out of respect.

That really hit home for one specific CU athlete. Marvin Lawrence, senior football player and wrestler from Columbus, Ga. Lawrence is a 2nd Lt. in the U.S Army and reports to duty once a month. This past summer Lawrence was on active duty.

“I can’t believe we got Nate Carr here. I’ve always looked up to (him) … It was a big influence on me,” said Lawrence. “When he mentioned as leaders we don’t eat before our soldiers that made an impact on me because that’s really how it is.”

Carr said military men and women become a family and will die for each other. Lawrence also mentioned that is exactly how it is in the trenches.

“We put it all on the line. As leaders, we have to realize it’s not about us. It’s about the men doing the work that are going through the trenches with you. That’s what makes you want to be a leader,” said Lawrence.

But Carr, being the preacher and continuing that 64-year family tradition of ministry, connected his examples to how Jesus Christ did the exact same thing.

“Isn’t that exactly what Christ did for us?” asked Carr. “Christ made that sacrifice because he wanted better for us. That is exactly what He calls us to do with our lives.”

Carr is a proven example that if you show respect to authority, then the authority will give respect back. And no matter if one wins an Olympic medal or not, they will become a champion at life.

“Nate not only challenged our athletes to give and gain respect but also challenged them in their relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Hardy. “It was a great way to start our year with the Champions of Character focus.”

Carr is still very active in the wrestling community and showed that he is “More Than A Game” by giving back to young kids in the Campbellsville area. Taylor County Wrestling, CU wrestling head coach Franky James, Frazier and Carr partnered on a wrestling clinic in the Gosser Gymnasium on Oct. 11.