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Dave Wottle, Olympic gold medalist, addressed the athletic coaches and staff of King
College on Aug. 2, during an orientation training session.
Wottle received his Bachelor of Science degree in history from Bowling Green State
University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He was the track and cross-country captain and
president of the varsity athletic club. Wottle was also inducted into the national
leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, and was an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholar.
During his track and cross-country career at Bowling Green, Wottle earned All-American
honors eight times. In the 1972 Olympic Trials, he qualified for the Olympic Games
in both the 800 meters and in the 1500 meters. His performance in the 800 meters
was especially memorable as he tied the world record with a time of 1:44.3. His dramatic
finish in the 1972 Munich Olympics was one of the closest finishes in Olympic history
and earned him a Gold Medal in the 800 meter run. The following year he became the
third fastest miler of all time by running a 3:53.3 mile. Wottle was inducted into
the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980. Wottle joked that they placed
his trademark hat, worn while running the Gold Medal race at the 1972 Olympics, in
the Hall of Fame three years prior to his induction.
Wottle told King's athletics coaches and staff about his unforgettable Olympic moment,
coming from last place, far behind the others, to doing the improbable, winning the
Gold Medal. The spirit of that moment has never left me. That one race has affected
me every day of my life.
Wottle also discussed his three key ingredients for a winning attitude: concentration,
confidence, and a competitive spirit. Just believe, said Wottle. Just a little edge
can make the difference in whether you win or lose.
For the past 28 years, Wottle served as dean of admissions and financial aid at Rhodes
College in Memphis, Tenn. He was recently named dean of admissions and financial
aid emeritus and will serve the current year as special assistant to the President.
Prior to coming to Rhodes, he served as the dean of admissions at Bethany College
in Bethany, W. Va., and began his admissions career at Walsh University in Canton,