Greco-Roman Wrestling: United States: Rulon Gardner

A jumbo Wyoming farm boy shocks the world, and himself, by wrangling a Russian tank

Sure, the mob took over Russia, plutonium slipped into suspect hands, and the Balkans exploded, but the worst side effect of the end of the cold war is that beating the Russians has lost its meaning. If this were 1968 and an oversize farm boy from Afton, Wyo., beat Alexander Karelin, a giant 286-lb. Russian Greco-Roman wrestler who hadn't lost a match in 13 years, then Rulon Gardner would have his own Wheaties box.

Gardner, who was not expected to be in medal contention, beat a three-time Olympic champion who had never lost in international competition, who had not given...

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