A few months ago 2000 Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner announced that he would be looking to make a comeback. He officially registered for the US Open today.
Gardner will compete in the 130kg division with the main competitors in the weight class being Adam Coon, Cohlton Schultz, and Tanner Farmer.
For the time being Adam Coon and Cohlton Schultz will be the favorites to meet at Final X for the world team spot with Farmer being the number 3 in most rankings.
Gardner retired from wrestling after winning bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games defeating Sajjad Barzi of Iran. In addition to the bronze, He holds an Olympic gold, World Championships gold, and Pan-American silver to his name.
He is most known for his upset at the 2000 Olympic gold medal where he defeated reigning 11x World and Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Gardner has had his fair share of adversity he has opened up about in the past.
Gardner when announcing his return talked with TMZ
“I still wanna give more back to the sport, the sport that I love and that’s wrestling. When you have a goal like wrestling it makes you get into shape so I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight, getting healthy again, getting back after it, and now it’s getting on the mat” – Rulon Gardner
The US Open has generated more buzz than ever around it. With Spencer Lee announcing that he is in after a lot of doubt about whether he would be competing. Tokyo Olympic champion Gable Steveson announcing his return to wrestling, and now one of the legends of our sport Rulon Gardner making a comeback at 51 years old this will be an event to remember.