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Q&A With Olympian Rulon Gardner



Rulon Gardner Age 29 University of Nebraska Started wrestling at age 6 What's your goal going into the Olympics? Upon achieving my first goal of making the Olympics, my ultimate goal is simply stated that I plan on winning a gold medal, and at least will come home with a medal. I will achieve these goals if I do one thing, and that is my best. What do you think of the coaching staff assembled for the Olympics? I know the coaching staff that the USA has is the best the world has to offer, and is the hardest working group of coaches in America. What international experience do you have that has prepared you for this event? My international experience should help me tremendously in the Olympics, especially at the Hwt. Division. I recently wrestled in Poddoubny, Russia. That trip tought me a great deal about patience, and not to rush my wrestling and stay focused the whole match. If I work hard the entire match, things will turn out ok for me. I have also gained a great deal of experience from the Gramma cup in Cuba, the Hungary Grand Prix, Polish Open, and the Pan Am Games. How are preparations going for the Olympics? Are you doing anything different? Does this meet have a different feel about it? In preparing for the biggest tournament of my life, I try to mentally reassure that I am ready. I go over all my moves mentally and focus to clear my body of all other worries and focus on the victory at hand. There is definitely more hype surrounding the Olympics, but all in all, the preparation is still the same. At this level, you will always wrestle the best in the world and must always be prepared for all competitions that you enter. What has wrestling taught you? How do you view the sport? Wrestling has taught me a great deal of things about life in general. It has taught me about myself. Wrestling is without a doubt, the best and toughest sport in the world. Because of this, my hometown is very proud. My whole community of friends and family are pulling for me. I have old friends calling me everyday. Thanks Afton, Wyoming. Who has been the biggest influence on you during your wrestling career? Why? I would like to thank the biggest influence on my wrestling career. That person is Kevin Kennington-my high school wrestling coach. Others include Mike Houck, Steve Fraser, Dan Chandler, and most importantly, Roman Wroclouski.
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