Terry McCann reached the pinnacle of wrestling success by winning the Gold Medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The road to this achievement was difficult but also details the drive and determination of one Terry McCann.
This determination was first brought to light at the 1952 Illinois High School State Wrestling Championships. With a record that still holds true today, Terry McCann pinned his State Championship Finals opponent in 57 seconds. Terry went on to the University of Iowa to become a three time All American, including being a two time NCAA Champion in 1955 and 1956. He only had three losses in three years of collegiate competition, with those three losses all occurring during his sophomore year.
In 1957 Terry moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, following his graduation from the University of Iowa where he worked to support a wife and growing family while also training to make the 1960 US Olympic team. Working out with a strong club team, Terry won three consecutive AAU National Championships at 125.5 pounds. In addition to his National Championship victories, Terry also recorded the only undefeated record against international competition, including a very tough Russian team. Against the Russians, Terry went 7-0-1. The one draw was against a competitor who stalled the entire match.
In preparation for the 1960 Olympic Trials, Terry was injured one month before the competition. His club filed a petition to allow him to attend the Olympic Trials due to his past achievements. This was allowed with the stipulation that he must win a total of eight matches without a loss. Even with an injured knee, Terry came through with flying colors to make the team. To add even more of a burden on Terry, he came down with a virus the week before the Olympics and was severely weakened due to extreme dehydration from the virus. Wrestling on the black mark system, Terry had an upset loss to a competitor from Finland which gave Terry a total of five black marks entering the fifth round. His upcoming match was against the Russian who held him to a draw the year before. Even if Terry were to win by decision that would give him six black marks and eliminate him from competition. Terry came through and pinned his opponent in less than ten seconds to put him into the gold medal round, which he won with relative ease.
Terry then retired from active competition and focused on coaching. His jr. high school teams won All State honors repeatedly. He moved back to Chicago and took over the Mayor Daly team which won a total of six freestyle National Championships and five Greco Roman National Championships unseating perennial powerhouse, The San Francisco Olympic Club. Terry accomplished this coaching the team for only seven years.
Terry then moved on with Myron Roderick and founded the United States Wrestling Federation which is now known as USA Wrestling, the governing body for US wrestling for Regional, National and International competition, including the World Games and Olympics.
Terry was a member of the US Wrestling Hall of Fame, the International Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame and the United States Olympics Hall of Fame.
Terry died of cancer in 2006. A loss to many.