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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



Greco-Roman Olympic gold medal hero Rulon Gardner elected as U.S. flagbearer for the Closing Ceremon



Greco-Roman wrestling Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner of Afton, Wyo. has been elected by his peers to serve as U.S. flagbearer for the Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, which will be held Sunday, October 1. "Wow. It makes me feel honored to be an American," said Gardner. "I am overwhelmed by the honor of carrying the flag while competing in my first Olympics. The pride has not left me from the moment I won the gold medal. It all still shocks me. I'm numb about all of this. Now for me to carry the flag is also so incredible. Dreams do come true." Athletes are nominated by the team captain or team representatives from each sport and then a vote is held. The result of the vote was announced this evening. Gardner shocked the world when he defeated three-time Olympic Champion and previously unbeaten Alexandre Kareline of Russia in the gold medal finals at 130 kg/286 pounds on September 27. Kareline had won three Olympic gold medals and nine World Championship gold medals. He had never lost an international wrestling match ever until Gardner beat him. Gardner became only the third U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal, joining Steve Fraser (198 lbs./90 kg) and super heavyweight Jeff Blatnick, both 1984 Olympic champions. Blatnick was the U.S. flagbearer for the Closing Ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Gardner is competing in his first Olympic Games. He is a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo. and a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. He was an NCAA All-American from the Univ. of Nebraska, and also was an NJCAA Junior College national champion at Ricks College. He attended Star Valley High School in Wyoming. Swimming athlete Jenny Thompson is the alternate Flagbearer. Also nominated were Robert Dover of equestrian (dressage), Dot Richardson of softball and Angel Perez of canoe/kayak.
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