Lee Kemp — arguably one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time — is the subject of a new documentary, now in production, with a planned release for summer 2019.
“Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story” is a full-length documentary film chronicling the life, loss and legacy of one of America’s finest athletes that most folks outside of wrestling do not know.
Horizons Companies — a Columbus, Ohio-based digital media production company which is involved in the production of “Wrestled Away” — posted this description of the documentary on Lee Kemp at its website:
“Few stories resonate as powerfully as those about elite athletes who are denied the glory they so richly deserve because of circumstances beyond their control. One such story is that of Leroy Kemp — a once-in-a-generation wrestler who drove himself to unparalleled achievements at the scholastic, collegiate and international levels. In 1980, Kemp was widely regarded as the greatest in his sport — and one of the greatest ever — when he lost his shot at certain Olympic Gold, and its accompanying acclaim, because of the U.S. decision to boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow.”
Kemp’s life story is the stuff of a fictional Hollywood movie.
He was born in Cleveland but given up at birth and raised in foster homes until he was adopted by a couple who raised him on a farm outside Chardon in northeast Ohio. He took on the name of his adoptive father, Leroy P. Kemp.
In ninth grade, Kemp was introduced to wrestling. Despite that relatively late start, Kemp managed to win two Ohio state titles for Chardon High School, going undefeated in his junior and senior years. Kemp then headed north to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a four-time NCAA championships finalist, and three-time champ, compiling an incredible 110-3 overall record.
It was in freestyle where Kemp truly made his mark, as America’s first three-time World Champion, winning his first title in 1978 at age 21. In addition, he was a four-time World Cup Champion, 7-time United States Freestyle National Champion and was a heavy favorite for gold earning a berth on the 1980 United States Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team but was unable to compete because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics.
Kemp was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990. Nearly two decades later, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (where he was one of the freestyle coaches for the U.S.), Kemp became just the fifth American to be welcomed into the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame. He is now a motivational speaker, business entrepreneur, and author of the 2018 book “Winning Gold: Success Secrets of a World Champion.”
Want to know more? Watch the opening credits of “Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story” here … and, to learn more about Lee Kemp himself, check out his official website.