‘With a Broken Freakin’ Neck!’- WWE Legend Kurt Angle Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of his Olympic Gold Medal Victory

Published 08/01/2021, 3:34 AM EDT
31 Jul 1996: Kurt Angle of the United States holds the American flag at the free-style wrestling competition during the Summer Olympics at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.


Twenty-five years ago, Kurt Angle shocked the world by winning the freestyle wrestling gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games. He would further his legacy by joining the WWE and becoming one of the greatest wrestlers ever. Twenty-five years after that incredible achievement, we still know Angle as an Olympic hero.

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Kurt Angle celebrates his incredible 1996 Olympic gold medal win

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At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the US wrestling team had a mighty task to achieve. Going up against the incredibly resilient Russian team, the home team had to come out looking stronger, especially on home soil. While they couldn’t edge out the Russians, they amassed a spectacular three gold medals.

Kendall Cross and Tom Brands’ wins in the 57 and 62 kg events, respectively brought the US a ton of pride. However, Kurt Angle’s win in the 100kg event made headlines. The boy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania proudly carried the American flag after his win and even broke down in tears on the mat.

A quarter of a century after his most incredible achievement, Kurt Angle is living the life of a WWE legend. He retired from professional wrestling in 2019, having lost to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. Two years prior to that he entered the WWE Hall of Fame, inducted by one of his closest friends and the greatest of all time, John Cena.

He celebrated the 25th anniversary of his gold medal with his wife and kids and even joked about buying a boat. Despite being a multi-time World Champion and Hall of Famer, Kurt Angle’s Olympic gold medal remains his most prized possession.

What are the US’ odds at wrestling in the Tokyo Olympics 2020?

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The wrestling championships at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 kicked off today. Two Americans made headlines today, although for contrasting reasons. Ildar Hafizov, a former Uzbekistan grappler lost in stunning fashion to Cuba’s Luis Alberto Orta Sanchez in the men’s 60kg round of 16.

Five-time women’s freestyle world champion Adeline Gray won two matches to qualify for the semifinals. She humbled humbled Tunisia’s Zaineb Sghaier 8-0 with a victory by fall and then made a resilient comeback against Turkey’s Yasemin Adar, winning 6-4.

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In the coming days, we’ll witness the best wrestlers the US offers dueling for gold. The likes of Kyle Dake, Sarah Hildebrandt, Gable Steveson and Tamyra Mensah will grace the mats at the Makuhari Messe.

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Nathan Fulgado

1224 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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