- Miracle on the Mat
Rulon Gardner’s Olympic gold medal victory over Russia’s undefeated Alexander Karelin at the 2000 Games is one of the most memorable upsets in Olympic history.
Rulon’s life has been filled with news-making headlines, including two life-threatening stories of survival.
From his recent appearance on the “Biggest Loser” to his present journey to make a comeback at the age of 40, Rulon’s presentation, “Never Stop Pushing,” highlights seven steps to success and illustrates how persistence pays off.
During the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Rulon Gardner cemented his spot in Olympics history by providing the world with an inspirational and unforgettable story that perfectly captures the spirit of the Games.
Pulling off what is now remembered as the “Miracle on the Mat,” Gardner did the unimaginable and upset the previous 13-year undefeated and three-time Olympic champion, Alexander Karelin, to capture the Greco-Roman wrestling gold medal.
A contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” in 2011, Gardner was a favorite to win the competition, but left the show to return home to pursue an Olympic comback. The National Wrestling Hall of Famer lost 200 pounds during the season, nearly 11 years after stunning the nation with his Cinderella success story.
For the average person, a comeback of this caliber would be too trying, but for Rulon Gardner, it’s just part of his lifelong journey of perseverance through physical and personal challenges.