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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Yearbook, Sept. 27: Rulon Gardner's gold

By Patrick Dorsey

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 Sydney
Rulon Gardner celebrating in Sydney
Rulon Gardner celebrating with his camp after winning gold in Sydney
Rulon Gardner celebrating in Sydney