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Nick Ackerman’s personal story of triumph still resonating after 20 years

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nICK FOR SHOW

Iowan Nick Ackerman stunned the wrestling world in 2001, when the double amputee won the 174 pound NCAA Division 3 Wrestling Championship for Simpson College in Waterloo's Young Arena.

The Colfax-Mingo graduate beat Augsburg's defending National Champion, Nick Slack, 13-11 for the title, ending Slack's 60-match victory string.

It was an unlikely scenario for Nick, who contacted bacterial meningitis when he was just 18-months old, and had to have both of his legs amputated.

The stunning victory propelled Nick Ackerman into the national sports limelight.

That season, he would share college wrestling's highest individual honor, The Dan Hodge Trophy, with Iowa State's undefeated legend, Cael Sanderson, now Head Wrestling Coach at Penn State.

Ackerman is the only NCAA Division 3 wrestler to ever win the Dan Hodge Trophy.

Nick has been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Nick would not go into coaching. He chose another route. He helps other amputee's deal with their personal loss as a prosthetist for American Prosthetic and Orthotics in the West Des Moines community of Clive.

Nick talks about his job and his journey on this week's edition of The Steele Report.