Bob Steckle, a farmer who won Canadian and United States wrestling championships and represented Canada at three Olympic games, has died.
He was born and raised on a farm now inside Kitchener and now is the J. Steckle Heritage Homestead. He graduated from the University of Guelph where he played football and wrestled, then took up dairy farming south of New Hamburg.
He switched to beef, held elected positions with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Waterloo County Co-op. He was inducted into the Waterloo County Hall of Fame.
He carried the flag for the Canadian team at the opening of the Olympics in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia, where he met his wife, Allison, who survives him. He competed in the Olympics at Helsinki and Rome and joked about setting a record for the shortest match in which he was defeated within seconds by a Japanese wrestler.
I remember Bob coming to our farm with his father, John, to buy a purebred Yorkshire boar. Having selected one, Bob hopped into the pen, picked up the 200-pounder, threw him over his shoulder, carried him to their pickup and put him in.