Kyle Snyder, Abdulrashid Sadulaev
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Wrestling world championships rescheduled for 2020

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A world wrestling championships is planned for December in Belgrade, should health and safety measures be met regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The worlds from Dec. 12-20 must include eight of the 10 best ranked teams and a minimum of 70 percent participating countries based on 2019 attendance. Specific health regulations have not been announced, but must be confirmed two months before the event.

“Competitions must provide general sanitary conditions, the ability to travel to/from the nation, and robust countermeasures to COVID-19 impacts on competition must be enforced,” according to United World Wrestling.

Wrestling worlds have been held every year dating to 2005 and go back decades in non-Olympic years. Before the pandemic, there were no wrestling worlds scheduled for 2020, which would have ended the streak of holding worlds in the autumn of Olympic years for non-Olympic weight classes.

With the Tokyo Games postponed to 2021, international wrestling officials are looking to extend an annual streak of competition at the highest level. A 2020 Worlds would include 10 weight classes each for men’s and women’s freestyles and Greco-Roman, just as in 2019, according to USA Wrestling.

Last September, five U.S. wrestlers won world titles in Kazakhstan: J’den Cox, Kyle Dake, Adeline Gray, Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Jacarra Winchester.

MORE: Kurt Angle recalls devastation, exultation of Olympic title

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World’s top wrestler contracted coronavirus

Abdulrashid Sadulaev
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Abdulrashid Sadulayev, arguably the world’s best pound-for-pound wrestler and one of the world’s most formidable athletes, said he contracted the coronavirus, according to translations of an Instagram video.

Sadulayev, a reigning Olympic and world champion freestyle wrestler, urged residents of his native Dagestan to join him in staying home during a Muslim holiday this weekend, according to Russian media.

Sadulayev, 24, went undefeated at the senior international level for nearly four years from 2013 until 2017, when he was beaten by American Kyle Snyder in a world championships final dubbed the “Match of the Century.”

Sadulayev came back to win the last two world titles.

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MORE: Olympic champion wrestler from Cuba recovers from coronavirus

Rulon Gardner, from Olympic miracle to rock bottom, now a film subject

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Rulon Gardner‘s Olympic gold medal was miraculous. What came after was no less extraordinary.

“Rulon Gardner Won’t Die,” which premieres on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app on June 3, chronicles the life of a Wyoming dairy farm boy who recorded the greatest upset in wrestling history at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Plus, the following 20 years, which included:

*In February 2002, driving a snowmobile off a hidden snow shelf into a frozen lake, getting stranded overnight in the wilderness for 17 hours in temperatures that were as low as 25 degrees below zero. The middle toe on his right foot had to be amputated due to frostbite.
*In February 2007, surviving a plane crash into a bay by swimming more than an hour in 44-degree water and spending the night without shelter.
*In 2010, going on “The Biggest Loser” at 474 pounds in a bid to lose more than 200 pounds to make weight for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials at age 40. He reportedly said he got down to 280, missing the Olympic heavyweight limit of 264.5.
*In 2012, filing for bankruptcy and losing his Olympic gold and bronze medals as a result.

Gardner pulled off the “Miracle on the Mat” in Sydney, handing chiseled Russian Aleksandr Karelin his first loss in 13 years. At last check, he was named head wrestling coach at Herriman High School in Utah in 2018.

“Rulon Gardner Won’t Die” is 88 minutes, narrated by Gardner and interviews Karelin, among others.

It’s part of the Olympic Channel’s signature Five Rings Films documentary series. Previous docs featured the 1998 Czech Republic Olympic men’s hockey team and Argentina’s Golden Generation of men’s basketball players.

The film is directed by Adam Irving and produced by Frank Marshall, who serves as executive producer alongside Mike Tollin, whose recent credits include “The Last Dance.”

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MORE: Kyle Snyder moved into Cael Sanderson’s basement