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.
Even though Gardner, who won a gold medal at the Olympics in 2000 and bronze medal in 2004, failed to make the team, he still seems proud of himself for turning around his life.
“I got my life back, and that’s something two years ago I didn’t have,” he told the LA Times. “Being on ‘The Biggest Loser,’ that’s where my fire turned back on. It was time to go out there and take care of business. The old dog has the scent to hunt again, and for me, this dog wants to run again and go with the big guys. I’m 40 years old and some people say I’m past my prime, but give me a chance….
“America’s seen me go from Olympic glory to Biggest Loser. I want to go back to Olympic glory again,” he said. “It’s kind of the American way, rebuilding yourself and remodeling yourself and making yourself more of who you are.”
Gardner elected not to speak about skipping the weigh-in.