Rulon Gardner has designs on making a third U.S. Olympic Team, 16 years after he won a shock Greco-Roman wrestling gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.
“I want to get back into it [wrestling],” Gardner told the Deseret News. “If it’s a perfect world, I’d like to be on the 2016 Olympic Team if everything works out.”
Gardner will be 44 years old at the 2016 Olympics. Nobody older than 44 has wrestled at the Olympics since 1988, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon.
In 2000, Gardner upset Russian super heavyweight Aleksander Karelin to win gold. He added bronze in 2004 and left his shoes on the mat in the symbolic display of retirement.
He attempted a comeback for the 2012 Olympics, shedding weight from a high of 474 pounds. But he opted not to weigh in for the Olympic Trials, where needed to be a maximum of 264.5 pounds. He said he had gotten within 15 pounds.
He’s gained about 100 pounds back, according to the Deseret News.
Correction: This article stated no wrestler older than 42 had competed at an Olympics since 1904, according to sports-reference.com. Mallon cited three Afghan wrestlers in 1988 who were listed as 45 years old.
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Kyle Snyder, who became the youngest American to win a World Wrestling Championship on Sept. 11, had planned to redshirt his sophomore year at Ohio State to focus on training for the Rio Olympics.
But Snyder is back wrestling for the Buckeyes this season.
“Kyle wants to help the team win the national title,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said. “It doesn’t hurt Kyle’s chances to make the Olympic team. We meet. He jumps on it.”
The announcement that Snyder would wrestle this season was made at 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Learn more about Snyder in an NBC Columbus affiliate profile.
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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Top-ranked golfer Lydia Ko says the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be her top priority this year.
Ko, who will defend her New Zealand Open title from Friday, said there was “so much excitement and vibe” around the Olympic tournament, “especially as it’s the first time women will play at the Olympics in golf.”
The 18-year-old New Zealander said “ever since they announced that golf will be in the Olympics I said, ‘Hey, I want to get myself on that team.’ For any athlete to say you’re an Olympian is a whole new proud feeling, and to represent your country on such an international stage it’s going to be a pretty special week.”
The 54-hole New Zealand Open at the Clearwater Golf Club is co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies PGA.
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