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'Critical missing' wrestling legend Hodge found OK

Dan Hodge, legendary amateur wrestling champ of the 1950s who was the subject of a silver alert as a critical missing person Saturday evening, has been found OK, according to his granddaughter.

Stacy Ewy Wilson posted the following message on her Facebook page overnight:

Dan Hodge
"Praise God!! Thank you! Thank you!! We appreciate all of your help and prayers!! Grandpa, Danny Hodge, has been located in Tulsa!!! On our way to pick him up! Very blessed to have so many who love him and our family!!"

Tulsa is approximately 90 miles from Hodge's hometown of Perry, Okla.

Hodge was found uninjured and returned safely to his home.

Hodge, 86, had been reported missing by Perry Police and the Noble County Sheriff's Office at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Authorities put out a silver alert with a description of his car because of concerns Hodge would not be able to find his way home. According to authorities, Hodge suffers from dementia, and was in "imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death."

A 1951 Oklahoma state wrestling champ for Perry High School, Daniel Allen Hodge went on to serve in the U.S. Navy before enrolling at University of Oklahoma in the mid-1950s. He was a three-time NCAA champ (1955-1957) for the Sooners at 177 pounds, compiling a perfect 46-0 record, with 36 of those wins by fall for one of the highest pinning percentages of all time in college wrestling. In addition, Hodge was a twice a member of the U.S. men's freestyle wrestling team for the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, bringing home the silver medal from the 1956 Melbourne Games.

Hodge owns the distinction of being the only amateur wrestler to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as an amateur wrestler in the magazine's 65-year history.

Hodge remains a popular figure within amateur wrestling. His name graces the Hodge Award, presented each year to the nation's top college wrestler by WIN Magazine and Culture House publishing.

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