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Olympic champion Rulon Gardner suffers minor injury after motorcycle accident



2000 Olympic champion Rulon Gardner (Cascade, Colo./Sunkist Kids) suffered no serious injuries from a motorcycle accident on the streets of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, March 30. Gardner was driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle on the way to a wrestling workout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs on Tuesday morning. Near the intersection of Cimmarron and Sawatch Streets, a 1991 Mazda automobile pulled out in front of Gardner, who attempted to avoid a collision. Gardner's motorcycle hit the car, and Gardner went over the top of his handlebars and over the vehicle. According to Gardner, he did an entire front flip, going upside down before landing. He hit on his right foot and rolled over his left side on the ground. "I ducked it, and did a front flip," said Gardner, who said that his experience as a wrestler helped him to land safely. "I remember seeing the ground coming. I thought to tuck. Without wrestling, I bet I would have hit wrong." Gardner suffered abrasions to his left side, as well as soreness to his right heel. Police responded to the incident. Gardner did not receive a citation. Afterwards, the police officer at the scene drove Gardner to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where he received medical treatment from the U.S. Olympic Committee medical staff. "Rulon had multiple abrasions on his left arm and leg ," said Ed Ryan, Director of Sports Medicine for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "We spent time cleaning and dressing his wounds at the Olympic Training Center Sports Medicine Clinic. His return to the mat depends on his comfort level and his wounds healing. He should be okay for nationals." Gardner believes that his injuries should not be a problem for his upcoming competitions. He is scheduled to compete in the U.S. National Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., April 9-10. This is an important qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Wrestling, set for May 21-23 in Indianapolis, Ind. Gardner's motorcycle received considerable damage, which has been taken to the Harley Davidson dealership in Colorado Springs. He was driving his special Olympic 2000 edition Harley Davidson, one of just four made.
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