The Midwest Nationals Wrestling Tournament was created in 2004. The Midwest Nationals attract local youth and other wrestlers from across the country on the second Saturday of July each year.
The mission of the Midwest Nationals Wrestling Tournament is to provide a competitive, professionally-conducted amateur wrestling tournament, generate tourism to the Bloomington-Normal area, and promote the growth and development of the sport of wrestling. Since 2004, the Midwest Nationals has strived to provide a positive, competitive environment for amateur wrestlers from 1st grade up through college and above. In conjunction with community leaders and businesses, the Midwest Nationals creates an event that brings athletes and their families from all over the country to Bloomington-Normal to generate tourism and positively impact the local economy.
We’ve also had a number of celebrity clinicians and guests over the years, including:
- Cael Sanderson – 4-time NCAA Champion, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, 3-time national freestyle champion
- Dan Gable – 2-time NCAA Champion, 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist
- Kyle Maynard – Quadruple amputee, 2004 ESPY-Best Disabled Athlete, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Presidents Award for the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, 2012 ESPY-Male Athlete with a Disability
- 2007 U.S. Army Wrestling Team
- Ben Peterson – 2-time NCAA Champion, 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist
- Danny Hodge – 1952 Olympic Silver Medalist, 3-time NCAA Champion, the Dan Hodge Trophy is the amateur wrestling equivalent of the Heisman Trophy
- Barry Davis – 3-time NCAA Champion, 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist
- Anthony Robles – Born with one leg, 2011 NCAA National Champion, 3-time All-American
- Lee Kemp - Coached the USA Wrestling Olympic team to victory in Beijing (2008); was also an Olympian (1980), 3x World Champion (1978, 1979, 1982), and one of five Americans inducted to the International Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Erin Golston - 3-time junior world medalist, 2-time university national champion, 2-time senior national team member (2013/14, 2017)
The Midwest Nationals Wrestling Tournament has always helped support some of the people and organizations which make Bloomington-Normal great. Our belief is by investing in our community, we contribute to a strong, healthy and bright future for children and families. We have a strong history of giving back to the community by contributing resources to organizations that share our commitment to youth education, health, and wellness.
The Midwest Nationals has donated to a number of non-profit organizations and charities, including:
- Bloomington-Normal area high school wrestling programs
- Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association
- Illinois Coaches Association
- Ken Gerdes Foundation
- Pape Foundation
- The Miracle League of Central Illinois
- National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Illinois Chapter