Rulon Gardner shows off his nub foot with amputated toe

Rulon GardnerRulon Gardner is in Washington, DC, in an effort to try saving Olympic wrestling, and he joined our friends The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in DC to talk about his efforts.

Wrestling is being cut by the Olympics starting in 2020, so Gardner is trying to rally support for the sport. In addition to talking about saving Olympic wrestling, Gardner shared the story about how he lost a toe in 2002.

Gardner, who won gold at the 2000 Olympic Games and bronze at the 2004 Games in Greco-Roman wrestling, was snowmobiling with friends in Wyoming in 2002 and got separated from the group. As he was trying to get his snowmobile together, he fell into the water and ended up stranded. He spent 18 hours at 25 below zero and believed he was dying before being rescued.

“My core temperature was 80 degrees. My feet were frozen solid. I knew I was dying,” Gardner told The Sports Junkies. “I was foolish that day — I didn’t wear my winter jacket. I had T-shirt, sweatshirt and a fleece top.”

Gardner says he spent from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. until the next morning frozen at temperatures between 25-30 below zero.

He was finally rescued and survived the life-threatening ordeal, though he did lose a toe and all feeling in his feet as a result.

Gardner was kind enough to show The Junkies what his nub foot looks like now. Keep in mind he doesn’t have feeling in the foot:

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Rulon Gardner files for bankruptcy

Rulon Gardner has hit another low in his tumultuous life. The former Olympic gold medalist recently filed for bankruptcy as he struggles with debt.

The Associated Press reports that Gardner, who won gold in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, owes creditors around $3 million on a household income of just over $37,000.

Gardner reportedly disputes much of that debt, saying he is the victim of investment fraud.

Gardner is scheduled to tell his side of the story in a deposition on Oct. 10. A few weeks later, an auction house is scheduled to sell many of his valuables including a sports car, motorcycle, and some autographed memorabilia. The items reportedly were seized by the Cache County’s Sheriff Office on behalf of Gardner’s major creditor.

Gardner’s life has been full of various ups and downs. He has overcome a learning disability, a car crash and a plane crash, and he survived a near-death situation when he was stranded in the Wyoming wilderness in 2002.

Long after competing in two Olympics, Gardner went through a depression and his weight ballooned to 474 pounds. He competed on the TV show “The Biggest Loser,” but left abruptly before its completion. He attempted a wrestling comeback earlier this year, but it ended when he failed to make weight at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in April.

With all that Gardner has overcome in his life, we don’t expect these financial issues to keep him down.

Rulon Gardner skips weigh-in, ends Olympics wrestling comeback attempt

Rulon Gardner’s attempt to make the Olympics wrestling team came to an end on Friday when he skipped the weigh-in because he knew he was over the weight limit.

Gardner needed to weigh less than 264.5 pounds to make the heavyweight limit at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, but the 40-year-old didn’t step on the scale.

Gardner told the LA Times on Thursday that he weighed about 280 pounds, meaning he would have needed to lose about 15 pounds to make weight. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that he was about five pounds over the limit on Friday.

Gardner ballooned to 474 pounds when he appeared on the weight-loss show “The Biggest Loser” last year. He lost nearly 200 pounds on the show, but left abruptly before its completion to begin his wrestling comeback.

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Rulon Gardner: Wrestling with Weight Loss

Athletes are seen as symbols of health, fitness, and immortality in American society. They are what everyone wants to be physically. Kids pretend to be their favorite athlete when playing in the front yard.

Rulon Gardner was one of those role models in 2000 and 2004, competing for the United States in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympic Games. He won two medals, a bronze and the coveted, immortalized gold medal in 2000. Despite his already large, muscular stature, Gardner was larger than life.

After his Olympic career ended, Gardner became a wrestling coach and opened up a gym to pass on the championship knowledge he obtained. But he also stepped away from wrestling, and that included leaving behind his strict training regimen. Rulon tried MMA and fought in Pride for a short while, but before long he stopped competing altogether. Gardner stopped working out yet he continued to eat the high calorie meals he was used to consuming during his wrestling days.

Before long, Gardner found himself at a crossroads when he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. He needed a custom-made tuxedo because of his size.

One night while eating a with his wife, he saw himself on TV couldn’t believe it was him. At that time he knew something had to be done.

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