Evan Weidl, Opinions Columnist

The University of Iowa offers plenty of exciting sports during the winter season. Whether it’s Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women’s basketball team lighting up the court or the indoor track and field team dominating the Big Ten, winter is an amazing time to be an Iowa sports fan.

But when it comes to Iowa winter sports, none quite stack up to wrestling.

With 24 national championships, Iowa wrestling is one of the most successful athletic programs in NCAA history. The UI has produced multiple Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and countless wrestling legends like Ed Banach and coach Dan Gable.

Wrestling is unquestionably the crown jewel of Iowa sports. The energy in the stands at a wrestling match is only rivaled by a Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. What wrestling means to Iowa is much more than trophies and medals.

Wrestling is special to Iowa and the Midwest because it has a blue-collar, rustic toughness that defines the people of the region. Few sports capture the character and charm of Iowa as well as wrestling, and the passion the fans have for it is unparalleled.

Now is as good a time as ever to be an Iowa wrestling fan. This is thanks to a national championship victory in 2021 and arguably the greatest Hawkeye athlete of all time, Spencer Lee, who is looking to become the first Hawkeye wrestler to win four individual NCAA titles.

 With a rich history, consistent dominance, and a special place in the hearts of Iowans everywhere, wrestling claims the throne of Iowa winter sports.