Rulon Gardner is living a quiet life, just the way he likes it.
He is 48 now, offers insurance coverage and has a second job training fumbling at a Salt Lake City-area high school.
It’s been 20 years considering that Gardner, a 2,000-to-1 underdog, beat three-time gold medalist Aleksandr Karelin in the Greco Roman heavyweight final at the Sydney Games in one of the best upsets in sports history.
His story didn’t end there. Not by a long shot.
“My life,” he stated in an interview, “has actually been a roller rollercoaster.”
Winning gold was the start of a flight that started with the farm kid from Wyoming ending up being an instant celebrity.
Just as he was relieving back into his old life, he was the talk of the nation again when a traumatic snowmobiling trip left him with frostbite so serious it cost him a toe and all sensation in his feet. From there followed a motorbike accident, an improbable resurgence to take bronze in 2004, a plane crash, weighing in topless at 474 pounds on “The Biggest Loser” reality program and losing millions after getting taken in a property rip-off.
Advertising All that and more are narrated in”RULON,”a documentary coming quickly on the Olympic Channel. Adam Irving, the director, stated
he was 18 at the time of the 2000 Olympics and not familiar with Gardner’s story till he was approached about making the film.”I had to look up ‘Rulon Gardner,’ “Irving stated.”Within 10 seconds of reading his Wikipedia page, I understood that it would be difficult to ruin the movie since his life story has a lot of remarkable moments you could not make that stuff up.”
Karelin is compared to fictional superhuman Russian boxer Ivan Drago from “Rocky IV.” Before conference Gardner, the wrestler referred to as the “Russian Bear” won 887 of 888 matches and had actually not surrendered a point in 6 years or been beaten in 14. His trademarked relocation was the scary reverse body lift in which he would throw his opponent feet initially over his head.
Gardner had actually never ever completed higher than fifth in a worldwide competition and struggled to surpass his semifinal opponent in Sydney. The media depicted the gold-medal match as a coronation for Karelin as he headed into retirement.
“When I left there, yeah, I was nervous,” Gardner stated 20 years later. “Did I believe in myself? Yeah. Did I believe I could beat him? No. Did I have a possibility? One hundred percent.”
Gardner is the storyteller, with comments from his previous coach and reporters who covered his story. Some of the archived video, especially video of the treatment for his frostbite, had actually never been revealed before.
The opening shots have Gardner carrying a calf and knocking around a good friend’s dairy farm near Logan, Utah. Gardner’s household no longer has the Wyoming dairy farm where he grew up.
For the youngest of Reed and Virginia Gardner’s nine children, youth was all about effort and chores. Amongst schoolmates he was an object of ridicule for being obese and having a learning special needs that put him at a fifth-grade reading level when he finished from high school. He had a contentious relationship with his dad. His mom was a buffer in between the two and a sustaining source of love and assistance.
Wrestling supplied escape from the grind of farm life, yet he didn’t make his high school’s varsity group up until his senior year. He left the University of Nebraska with a hard-earned degree in physical education and started competing globally in 1996.
The “Wonder on the Mat” turned him into an American hero. He made the rounds on the talk-show circuit, rubbed elbows with A-listers and collected large sums of cash thanks to endorsement deals.
Maybe his lowest point came when he declared personal bankruptcy in 2012. An offer to develop a hot springs went bad and Gardner was stuck owing practically $3 million. He had to offer his gold and bronze medals, which he has actually since recovered, and auctioned off other memorabilia.
Not resolved in the documentary were Gardner’s Mormon faith and his four stopped working marital relationships.
A Lot Of Check Out Home Entertainment Stories”Those are kind of private,” Gardner said. “There are some things you do not raise.”
His long-lasting battle with his weight was not off limits. In truth, it’s an underlying style, and a scene of him in his kitchen talking to his tiny canine is particularly moving. He would not divulge his weight during a current interview, but the math shows he’s over 400.
He said he’s lost 30 pounds in the last month, thanks to working with a coach and cutting refined sugars and processed food from his diet. He has stated his goal is to get back near to his wrestling weight of 265.