The London Olympics are nearly upon us. Every four years amazing memories are created by athletes who overcome tremendous odds and complete unbelievable journeys. Names that you never knew become legends overnight.
Let's take a look back at one of those truly unforgettable moments.
The year: 2000
The place: Sydney, Australia
Even though the Cold War was over and the USSR had crumbled there will always be an intense rivalry between the United States and Russia. One of the most reveled athletes in Russian history is Greco-Roman wrestler Alexsandr Karelin. He is also considered to be the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Karelin won gold medals at the 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also has nine World Championships to his name. He hadn't had a point scored against him in six years. Standing 6-3 286lbs he was an intimidating figure that was pure muscle. He is gunning to become the first Olympic wrestler to win four gold medals.
His famous move was the "Karelin Lift" where he hoists his opponent in the air and throws him violently to the mat. When executed correctly he earns five points per throw.
Enter Rulon Gardner an American who grew up working on his families dairy farm in Afton, WY. Never won a medal in international competition but has performing well at these Olympics. This story has a David vs Goliath feel or maybe more like a Rocky vs Drago flavor.
Here are the first two rounds.
Gardner has managed a 1-0 lead over Karelin. Still the rules require them to go to overtime since neither wrestler has three points. Gardner continues his incredible defensive effort and keeps Karelin at bay.
Once the victory is complete the joy on Gardner's face is so memorable. His smile is infectious and his joy just radiates. He is even able to celebrate with a somersault as well. One of of those amazing reactions that happens in the moment and is seared in our brains forever.
Rulon Garnder is one of those athletes that shows us why the Olympics are so incredible,
Celebrate the most compelling moments in Summer Games history with 'Memorable Moments' on Yahoo! Sports. Re-live moments such as Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10s in Montreal, Michael Phelps' record eight gold medals in Beijing, Carl Lewis' unforgettable four gold medals in Los Angeles, the spectacular success of the 1992 US Dream Team, Muhammad Ali in Rome and Atlanta, and any more!
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