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lewboo

Lee Kemp

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With the World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend, and with the 1979 World Team being honored, I would like to take this time and let the wrestling world know a few facts and opinions from Lewboo about one of America’s greatest wrestlers EVER!!!! No, I am not talking about myself, lol, but rather about the GREAT LEE KEMP!!!!! I had the pleasure off being teammates of Lee Kemp on 2 World teams, a Pan American team, a World Cup team, and a boycotted Olympic team, and became a great fan and friend of a great wrestler and a great person. Looking at this, I just realized I was on 5 different teams with Lee in addition to several USA vs. Russia dual meets, including the one in Rapid City, SD in 1980 when I became the Toughest Kid on the Block! On those teams, Lee Kemp won every time he was my teammate!!!!! He was Jordan Burroughs before there was a Jordan Burroughs!!! In this little story I am about to tell, I may compare Lee Kemp to some of today’s stars, and to some of yesterday’s stars to let you know just how great Lee Kemp really was!!! And so let me get on with my little story about Lee Kemp’s career.

The year was 1972 and a sophomore in high school in Ohio named Lee Kemp finished his 2nd year of wrestling at 132 pounds with a record of 11-8-3. That same year, one of America’s greatest wrestlers ever, and my idol and coach for many years, the legendary Dan Gable wrestling at 149.5 pounds went 20-0 for the entire year, winning the Tbilisi tournament, the Olympic Trials, and the Olympics, with only 1 point being scored on him the entire year!! Flash forward 3 ½ years, to November of 1975 where a sophomore in college, who had still not yet turned 19 years old, beat the great Dan Gable 7-6 in the finals of the Northern Open!! That spring, in 1976 a now 19 year old Lee Kemp would also beat Stan Dziedzic, who would go on to win a bronze medal in the Olympics that year and then win a World title in 1977. Pretty strong work for a kid who had only been wrestling for 5 years. Lee Kemp was just getting started!

Flash forward to Edmonton, Canada, in 1892 where Lee Kemp would win his 3rd World title in 5 years, along with a bronze medal in 1981, and, like Jordan Burroughs, a three year unbeaten streak at the senior world level. That’s right, Lee Kemp was an undefeated World Champ in 1978, an undefeated World Champ in 1979, and an undefeated Olympian in 1980, who did not get to compete in Moscow because of politics, and he also beat the Olympic champion that year. Lee Kemp was also an undefeated World Champion in 1982. That is four undefeated years out of 5 at the senior level, making 5 straight World and Olympic teams!!! Jordan Burroughs just finished 3 straight undefeated years internationally at the senior level, winning two World titles and an Olympic Gold Medal!!! Now he has finally lost one match and has been threatened in several others, and has some great, great challengers in Kyle Dake, David Taylor, and Andrew Howe!! During Lee Kemp’s run, he had several great challengers, like Dave Schultz, Mark Churella, and Chuck Yagla and others. But just like Jordan Burroughs, he continued to win and win and win. I say this with tremendous respect for both Lee Kemp and Jordan Burroughs, they both know how to WIN!!!! During this 5 year run, Lee Kemp was 9-0 against the great Dave Schultz, finally losing to him once in 1983, then beating him in the US Open, but opting out of the world team trials. Dave then won the Worlds in 1983, and then beat Lee Kemp 3 out of 3 in the Olympic Trials in 1984, with 2 of the 3 wins coming on criteria.

I mention Jordan Burroughs with Lee Kemp for their 3 straight years of going undefeated internationally at the senior level, because I know how hard that is to do, and how few Americans have done it. Lee Kemp has 4 undefeated years at the senior level, Jordan Burroughs has 3, and I don’t know of anyone else with 3. I believe John Smith with 6 World and Olympic titles in a row has a total of 2 undefeated years, not in a row. I don’t know of anyone else with two. Dan Gable has one, Dave Schultz has zero, Tom and Terry Brands has zero, Randy Lewis has zero, Bruce Baumgardner has either one or zero, Kenny Monday has zero, Cael Sanderson has zero, Kevin Jackson has zero, Mark Schultz has one or zero, John and Ben Peterson have zero, Chris Campbell may have one or zero, Ed and Lou Banach have zero, I think Kurt Angle has zero. I am not sure on some other world and Olympic champs, such as Wayne Wells and any others before 1972. Lee Kemp made 5 consecutive World and Olympic teams, from 1978-1982, going undefeated in 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1982.

Lee Kemp is still America’s youngest world champion, winning his first World title in 1978 before he turned 22. He won his second World title before he turned 23. To put that in perspective with some of today’s stars, Kyle Dake, David Taylor and Logan Stieber are all 23 years old. Lee Kemp is the youngest NCAA finalist of all time, as he did not turn 18 until December 24, of his freshman year in college. He was three months younger as a true freshman in college than Aaron Pico will be this year in what would be his junior year of high school!!! Lee Kemp went 30-5 as a true freshman, beating NCAA champion Chuck Yagla once, and losing to him on split referee’s decision in the NCAA finals. At the same age, Logan Stieber was a junior in high school, and Kyle Dake and David Taylor at the same age were seniors in high school. Lee Kemp then went undefeated in college the next three years, winning

3 NCAA titles. At the age of 21 years and 3 months, he was the youngest 4 time All-American of all time and the youngest 3 time NCAA Champ of all time until Kyle Dake came along.

I am writing this to let some of you know how great and at such a young age Lee Kemp was, and it was an honor being his teammate many times! Also congrats to the 1979 World Team, and also to Andre Metzger who beat me out to make the 1979 World Team and become America’s youngest world medalist!!

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I will say this about that.... I had the fortune of being Randy's teammate and have always thought that he had the greatest wrestling mind on the planet. But does anyone have a better grasp on wrestling history than Lewboo? I was a huge Lee Kemp fan and was just a bit behind him in age. In a way he was my Michael Jordon. In other words, the first time I saw Lee wrestle, I wanted to have the same kind of shoes he had. Randy, keep up the good, the fastest time measurable to man is how fast I click the button to see what Randy Lewis has to say.

Signed,

Greg Robbins

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Bump.

 

Now that Jordan Burroughs has had a defeat or two at the Senior Level ( Marable and {Tsargush- injured I understand at the time}), I thought I would bring this back up so everyone could read about Kemp and his 4 years undefeated at the senior level. Kudos to Jordan for his great run, and may he bring back a 4th world level title.

 

Lee was my coach and he was so solid as a wrestler- you couldn't move him out of his position to save your life.

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Did you ever get to see Osamu Watanabe wrestle? I supposed to have gone 186-0 on the International level, winning world titles and never, ever giving up a takedown?

 

On Lee Kemp, why doesn't he get mentioned more often? Is it skin color? Like Bobby Douglas having to beat Dan Gable 5 times to prove to a bigoted coach he was the man to represent the US at his weight in the Olympic games?

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One of those guys with an ageless style who looks like he could be extremely competitive today with no adjustment had he been born much later. Total badass.

 

Agreed. He was very patient with his shot selection. Never shot unless he knew he could score. All the while, fending off shots with very adept front headlock and turning defense into offense in a blink of an eye. He was great at catching people off guard with his foot sweeps and inside trips. Slick transitions from Russian ties to attacks.

Lee Kemp's 1980's techniques would work this year at the Worlds.

Edited by takedownartist

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Most efficient wrestler ever. He'd patiently work to improve position while maintaining vise like grips. He'd gradually advanced to where he could score and take advantage 100% of the time.

 

No wasted movents. Never getting in worse position. Never, ever a chance for his opponents to counter offense or even stop him.

 

My idea of perfect wrestling.

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With the World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend, and with the 1979 World Team being honored, I would like to take this time and let the wrestling world know a few facts and opinions from Lewboo about one of America’s greatest wrestlers EVER!!!! No, I am not talking about myself, lol, but rather about the GREAT LEE KEMP!!!!! I had the pleasure off being teammates of Lee Kemp on 2 World teams, a Pan American team, a World Cup team, and a boycotted Olympic team, and became a great fan and friend of a great wrestler and a great person. Looking at this, I just realized I was on 5 different teams with Lee in addition to several USA vs. Russia dual meets, including the one in Rapid City, SD in 1980 when I became the Toughest Kid on the Block! On those teams, Lee Kemp won every time he was my teammate!!!!! He was Jordan Burroughs before there was a Jordan Burroughs!!! In this little story I am about to tell, I may compare Lee Kemp to some of today’s stars, and to some of yesterday’s stars to let you know just how great Lee Kemp really was!!! And so let me get on with my little story about Lee Kemp’s career.

The year was 1972 and a sophomore in high school in Ohio named Lee Kemp finished his 2nd year of wrestling at 132 pounds with a record of 11-8-3. That same year, one of America’s greatest wrestlers ever, and my idol and coach for many years, the legendary Dan Gable wrestling at 149.5 pounds went 20-0 for the entire year, winning the Tbilisi tournament, the Olympic Trials, and the Olympics, with only 1 point being scored on him the entire year!! Flash forward 3 ½ years, to November of 1975 where a sophomore in college, who had still not yet turned 19 years old, beat the great Dan Gable 7-6 in the finals of the Northern Open!! That spring, in 1976 a now 19 year old Lee Kemp would also beat Stan Dziedzic, who would go on to win a bronze medal in the Olympics that year and then win a World title in 1977. Pretty strong work for a kid who had only been wrestling for 5 years. Lee Kemp was just getting started!

Flash forward to Edmonton, Canada, in 1892 where Lee Kemp would win his 3rd World title in 5 years, along with a bronze medal in 1981, and, like Jordan Burroughs, a three year unbeaten streak at the senior world level. That’s right, Lee Kemp was an undefeated World Champ in 1978, an undefeated World Champ in 1979, and an undefeated Olympian in 1980, who did not get to compete in Moscow because of politics, and he also beat the Olympic champion that year. Lee Kemp was also an undefeated World Champion in 1982. That is four undefeated years out of 5 at the senior level, making 5 straight World and Olympic teams!!! Jordan Burroughs just finished 3 straight undefeated years internationally at the senior level, winning two World titles and an Olympic Gold Medal!!! Now he has finally lost one match and has been threatened in several others, and has some great, great challengers in Kyle Dake, David Taylor, and Andrew Howe!! During Lee Kemp’s run, he had several great challengers, like Dave Schultz, Mark Churella, and Chuck Yagla and others. But just like Jordan Burroughs, he continued to win and win and win. I say this with tremendous respect for both Lee Kemp and Jordan Burroughs, they both know how to WIN!!!! During this 5 year run, Lee Kemp was 9-0 against the great Dave Schultz, finally losing to him once in 1983, then beating him in the US Open, but opting out of the world team trials. Dave then won the Worlds in 1983, and then beat Lee Kemp 3 out of 3 in the Olympic Trials in 1984, with 2 of the 3 wins coming on criteria.

I mention Jordan Burroughs with Lee Kemp for their 3 straight years of going undefeated internationally at the senior level, because I know how hard that is to do, and how few Americans have done it. Lee Kemp has 4 undefeated years at the senior level, Jordan Burroughs has 3, and I don’t know of anyone else with 3. I believe John Smith with 6 World and Olympic titles in a row has a total of 2 undefeated years, not in a row. I don’t know of anyone else with two. Dan Gable has one, Dave Schultz has zero, Tom and Terry Brands has zero, Randy Lewis has zero, Bruce Baumgardner has either one or zero, Kenny Monday has zero, Cael Sanderson has zero, Kevin Jackson has zero, Mark Schultz has one or zero, John and Ben Peterson have zero, Chris Campbell may have one or zero, Ed and Lou Banach have zero, I think Kurt Angle has zero. I am not sure on some other world and Olympic champs, such as Wayne Wells and any others before 1972. Lee Kemp made 5 consecutive World and Olympic teams, from 1978-1982, going undefeated in 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1982.

Lee Kemp is still America’s youngest world champion, winning his first World title in 1978 before he turned 22. He won his second World title before he turned 23. To put that in perspective with some of today’s stars, Kyle Dake, David Taylor and Logan Stieber are all 23 years old. Lee Kemp is the youngest NCAA finalist of all time, as he did not turn 18 until December 24, of his freshman year in college. He was three months younger as a true freshman in college than Aaron Pico will be this year in what would be his junior year of high school!!! Lee Kemp went 30-5 as a true freshman, beating NCAA champion Chuck Yagla once, and losing to him on split referee’s decision in the NCAA finals. At the same age, Logan Stieber was a junior in high school, and Kyle Dake and David Taylor at the same age were seniors in high school. Lee Kemp then went undefeated in college the next three years, winning

3 NCAA titles. At the age of 21 years and 3 months, he was the youngest 4 time All-American of all time and the youngest 3 time NCAA Champ of all time until Kyle Dake came along.

I am writing this to let some of you know how great and at such a young age Lee Kemp was, and it was an honor being his teammate many times! Also congrats to the 1979 World Team, and also to Andre Metzger who beat me out to make the 1979 World Team and become America’s youngest world medalist!!

Lewbo, I think I admire your posts almost as much as your wrestling career. They never fail to make my day. 

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Going from an 11 and 8 record as a soph to an NCAA runner up and 3x champ in a few short years is a testament to true dedication to the sport. I would love to ask Mr Kemp himself what he thought were his most natural abilities and which ones if any were his weakest. My impression is that he had the kinesthetic awareness that would make a gymnast jealous.

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