While some would call taking part in the same sport your father took part in “following in his footsteps,” David Carr did what any successful wrestler would do, going well beyond that extra mile.
“He’s a hero to me so I try to not even replicate his wrestling but replicate him as a person because he’s just an awesome human being and person to everyone,” Iowa State 157-pounder David Carr said of his father, Nate.
Carr stands alone in the 157-pound weight class as one of the greatest to ever do it, but even his defending National Champion status doesn’t necessarily make him the best wrestler in his house during the holidays.
From 1981 to 1983, Nate Carr went back-to-back-to-back for Iowa State, sending out a warning sign that the 150-pound division might not be for the weak of heart.
Following his NCAA domination, Carr would go on to medal in almost every major tournament in the sport, including a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympic games.
Carr would go on to have a family and now wrestling came second. Family interests would further push his old passion into the backseat if need be and nobody was happier to do it. The passion he had for wrestling would be instilled in his family, but it could be in any activity that drove them.
“My dad is a professional cheerleader,” David Carr explains. “He just wants to encourage everyone in our family. My sisters are All-Americans in track and no matter what sport you do, he wants you to do the best at it. Whether I did basketball or football, he would have supported me.”
Nate Carr’s glory days of the past stayed in the past. His pride was no longer in himself but in his kids. His son David would explain that it wasn’t until almost high school that he learned his dad was an Olympian.
One of the rarest feats in the sport is being a three-time National champion. Nate Carr did it. Even more rare is medaling in the Olympics. Nate Carr did that, too. If the last name Carr would be attached to any other “next to impossible” accomplishments, it would be up to David.
Committing to Iowa State as his father did decades before got David on the right track, All-American status got him closer but in March of 2021, thanks to David, the Carr family had once again done the impossible.
“I remember he’d be happy when I won State and he was really happy when I won Junior World Championships but I knew that Nationals was the big deal,” David said. “So when I finally did he was tearing up and it was a pretty raw and special moment between me and my dad. I want to say there’s probably three father/son winners but I’m not sure. I’d have to fact check that. As far as the same school, like, going to same school, I think we’re the first.”
Understanding the odds against a repeat of what he and his father accomplished, Carr does admit that having a child of his own one day win a National title would be yet another dream come true for the Carr family, as long as the next member of the family isn’t an Iowa Hawkeye.
As far as MMA is concerned, Carr’s future doesn’t expand too far at the moment, but one day he’ll be giving fighting a shot, and when he does, he’ll be interested in seeing how the family affair he’s established with his father in wrestling translates into MMA.
“(Daniel) Cormier has a wealth of knowledge in wrestling and MMA and he does have a son,” David said. “I think he surrounds himself with wrestling and MMA so much I think it’d be interesting to see. It’d also be interesting to see an (Kamaru) Usman or a (Conor) McGregor how they would do with their kid because you see, like, with LeBron, he’s got Bronny. That’s cool seeing him grow up with his dad being so successful and he’s so good right now. Or you see Tiger Woods’ son and he’s got all those tricks up his sleeve. It’s going to be cool in UFC when you to see that kind of stuff.”
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