'Hacksaw': Hometown hero
When you think of the greatest athletes in Glens Falls, N.Y., history, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan's name should be the first to roll off your tongue. Duggan was recently named top athlete in the city's 100-year history by The Chronicle's Glens Falls magazine.
"It feels great," said an ecstatic Duggan in the locker room area about the article. "I know a lot of guys, when they get into the sports-entertainment industry, they change where they're from. For almost 30 years I've been representing Glens Falls, so to be recognized in my hometown is quite an honor."
A four-sport high school athlete, Duggan excelled in football, basketball, track and field and amateur wrestling. "Moose," as he was once called by his hometown admirers, was a state wrestling champion. After 35 years, he still holds the shot put record at 56 feet, 5-1/2 inches. He earned a football scholarship to Southern Methodist University, where he became the Mustangs' team captain. After college, he signed an NFL contract with the Atlanta Falcons. All of his successes, Duggan says, come from persistence and his strong family upbringing.
"The ability to keep going is always important. I know everyone has their hard times in life, but you can never quit. I was blessed. Growing up, my father was my hero and taught me a lot," Duggan explained.
After finishing his professional football career, Duggan turned his focus to sports-entertainment. He's a former United States Champion, and the winner of the first-ever Royal Rumble in 1988. Decades later, the WWE legend is still making fans say, "Hoooooo!" He offered words of advice to youngsters who aspire to have a career similar to his.
"Dedication is essential. You have to spend your time working out, running and lifting weights, especially on the amateur level. When you find something you love, go for it."