Rulon Gardner was a contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” produced by Ben Silverman. What many didn’t know, though, is he also was an Olympic champion in wrestling. Gardner won the gold medal back in 2000 after defeating Russian Alexander Karelin in a 1-0 match and the bronze medal in 2004 after defeating Sajad Barzi of Iran 3-0. After the Athens games, Gardner retired from the wrestling world. His retirement brought not only relaxation and time-off, but it also brought pounds. Lots of pounds.
So much weight, in fact, that Gardner, at 474 pounds, became a contestant on “The Biggest Loser” in order to get back into shape. During his time on the show, Gardner lost a whooping 185 pounds to drop down to 289 before exiting the show.
Now, the 39-year-old wants to step back into the ring, and has begun training for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gardner hopes to be selected as part of the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team, but acknowledges that nearing 40 years of age, it might be quite a challenge. On Wednesday, the former Olympian was seen at Bruce Baumgartner and Tim Flynn's annual Heavyweight School for training.
“The Biggest Loser,” which is produced by Electus’ Ben Silverman, will return for its 12th season on Sept. 20 from 8-10 p.m. on NBC.