Yearbook, Sept. 27: Rulon Gardner's gold

September, 27, 2012
Sept. 27, 2000: They thought it couldn't be done. He thought it couldn't be done. But on this day 12 years ago, American wrestler Rulon Gardner proved everyone wrong when he stunned Russian stalwart Aleksandr Karelin in the Greco-Roman super heavyweight final at the Sydney Olympics.

Yes, the man who never won a collegiate wrestling title beat a man who had won three consecutive gold medals and seven straight world championships without yielding even a point. No wonder the big Wyoming native became a national celebrity in about nine minutes.

Rulon Gardner and Alexander Karelin in SydneyKim Jae=Hwan/AFP/Getty Images
Rulon Gardner celebrating in SydneyBilly Stickland/Getty Images
Rulon Gardner celebrating with his camp after winning gold in SydneyBilly Stickland/ALLSPORT
Rulon Gardner celebrating in SydneyKim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

Patrick Dorsey is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor for He has worked for the Web and newspapers. He also played in one Division-III golf tournament (he shot 105).



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