Rulon Gardner was born on August 16, 1971 in Afton, Wyoming. Rulon is the youngest of nine children born to Reed and Virginia Gardner. Raised on a dairy farm where they grew their own crops and milked cows twice a day, there was never a shortage of work to be done. In school, he struggled with reading speed and comprehension but with the help and support of his family, was able to successfully complete high school and earn a wrestling scholarship to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. From Ricks College, Rulon Gardner received a Division 1 scholarship to wrestle for the University of Nebraska.
Rulon’s wrestling career began when he was six years old when he began to compete in an annual wrestling tournament held in Star Valley, Wyoming. He competed throughout junior high and high school and continued until he graduated from the University of Nebraska.
After graduation from the University of Nebraska with a degree in physical education, Rulon continued his wrestling career as he dedicated himself full-time to training for the U.S.A. Olympic team.
When he won the Olympic gold medal for Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, Rulon became the pride of a nation and a new American hero. In an amazing contest of rookie vs. veteran, and the United States versus Russia, Rulon captivated the world when he took the gold from three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Karelin.
Following his victory, Rulon Gardner was named the Sportsman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and also received the US Olympic Spirit Award. In 2001, he was given the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award for the nation's top amateur athlete who succeeds in athletic excellence, character, leadership, and sportsmanship. His accomplishments, along with his work ethic, make Gardner an inspiring sports speaker.
Gardner recently appeared as a contestant of the NBC television program The Biggest Loser, and is back in a familiar role, inspiring hope and personifying courage. Rulon’s achievements on the program were nothing short of astonishing. After reaching his competitive training weight, Rulon chose to leave the show in support of his wife and to begin the next chapter of his life.
The courage and determination that Rulon has shown in his pursuit of excellence further solidifies his status as a truly inspirational individual.
His achievements embody the spirit of a champion — determination, self-confidence and the drive to win in spite of overwhelming obstacles. An engaging and inspirational speaker, Rulon shares his story of dedication, motivation and sacrifice and instills in his audience a true winning spirit. Offering valuable insights into the actual cost of peak performance, Rulon Gardner guides audiences down his path to Olympic gold - and ultimately into American legend. In a presentation which highlights his experiences on the mat, Gardner teaches that through individual greatness, teams are built and motivation is inspired.
To book overcoming adversity and Olympic speaker Rulon Gardner call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.