United States of America USA

Wrestling Greco-Roman

  • Olympic Medals
    1 G
    1 B
  • Games participations
  • First Olympic Games
    Sydney 2000
  • Year of Birth
Olympic Results



The youngest of nine children, Rulon Gardner was born to Reed and Virginia Gardner on August 16, 1971. He was raised on a dairy farm in Wyoming, where the family grew crops and milked cows twice a day. 

Rulon’s wrestling career began when he was six years old. For one week every year, Star Valley would have a wrestling camp, which always concluded with a tournament on the weekend. Rulon participated in this from six years old until he started junior high school at 12 years old.

Rulon began a regular wrestling season while in junior high and continued with the wrestling seasons until he graduated with a degree in physical education from the University of Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Rulon continued his Olympic wrestling pursuit with full-time dedication.

As a member of the 2000 US Olympic wrestling team, Rulon was pitted against Russian legend Alexander Karelin, in what can only be described as a David versus Goliath scenario. Against harrowing odds, Rulon emerged as the victor. In doing so, he immediately captured the admiration of Americans, winning the gold medal in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.

Rulon came back to the Olympics in 2004 to defend his title and took home the Bronze medal. In 2010, Rulon was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Athens 2004

Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤120 kilograms)
Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤120 kilograms) Wrestling
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Sydney 2000

Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤130 kilograms)
Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤130 kilograms) Wrestling


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