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Rulon Gardner Speaker Profile

Olympic Gold Medalist for the Wrestling

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Christian Athletes

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Rulon Gardner Biography

Rulon Gardner was born August 16, 1971 and is an AmericanOlympian who competed in the 2000 Olympic games, winning the gold medal inGreco-Roman wrestling upon defeating Russian Aleksandr Karelin, who waspreviously undefeated in 13 years of international competition. Gardner wasalso a contestant on the 11th season of the Biggest Loser.

Gardner is well known for his defeat of Alexander Karelin (Aleksandr) in the2000 Summer Olympics. Karelin had been undefeated for 13 years, and had notgiven up a point in six years, prior to his loss in the gold medal match toGardner.

In 2001, Gardner added a world championship to his list ofaccomplishments with a victory in the finals over Mihaly Deak-Bardos ofHungary. His win made him the only American to ever win both a World andOlympic title in Greco-Roman wrestling.

After the 2000 Olympics he suffered a series of injuriesfrom both a snowmobiling and motorcycle accident. These injuries included anamputated toe and a dislocated wrist, but he still went on to win the U.S.Olympic trials for his weight class and then to compete in the 2004 SummerOlympics. He was not able to repeat his 2000 performance, coming away with theBronze medal, and after his match, he placed his shoes in the middle of the matas is a symbol of retirement from competitive wrestling.

Gardner fighting fellow Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida(gold-medalist in Judo) in mixed martial arts competition. Gardner competedonce in mixed martial arts and in 2005 he became the host for a professionalwrestling league called Real Pro Wrestling.

Gardner served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage ofWrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

In April 2011 it was reported by USA Today that Gardner wasconsidering a comeback for the 2012 Olympics.

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