Who is Rulon Gardner?
Rulon Gardner is an American Olympian who competed in the 2000 Olympic games, winning the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling upon defeating Russian Aleksandr Karelin, who was previously undefeated in 13 years of international competition. He has represented his country with pride and dignity. Unfortunately, Mr. Gardner has fallen on some rough times. A former partner of his is in prison on fraud charges, Rulon was one of the people he defrauded.
If you have ever met Rulon Gardner, you would know what an absolute class act this guy is. He never turns away a fan. We ran into him at a restaurant in Salt Lake City and he graciously agreed to take pictures with my son and I and didn’t hesitate when asked for an autograph. I watched him do this more than ten times throughout dinner without so much as a sour look on his face.
After a string of setbacks, including having his toe amputated, surviving a motorcycle accident and a plane crash, Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner is now facing bankruptcy.
“I got taken advantage of, and now I’ve got to pay the price, I’m trying to make it right.”
He added, “I don’t have all this money people think Olympic athletes have.”
Gardner filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 31, and is trying to stop the Salt Lake City auction house of Erkelens & Olson from selling his valuables, his wrestling shoes, Olympic medals and autographed memorabilia.
He wanted to buy back his belongings including many sentimental items from his proud career, but just does not have the money.
Here's where we come in. I would like to raise some money to help Mr. Gardner reclaim at least some of his belongings from the auction. I would like to see if we can get back some or all of his wrestling memorabilia. Any amount will help and everything is appreciated.
What We Can Do
There is no way of knowing how high the bidding will go. I plan on focusing mainly on sentimental items such as things from his wrestling career and other personal things. The feeling of pride that you will get by funding this project will be immense. We will be returning pieces of US Olympic history to their rightful owner. If we do not reach our entire goal of $20,000, we will still use whatever funds available to buy back as many things as we can.
How many times have you heard or seen a case where someone famous athlete’s championship ring has ended up in a pawn shop or other similar stories? It breaks my heart. Think of the impact it has on children who see their heroes reduced to selling off their prized possessions to pay the bills. Let’s show these kids that all people need once in a while is a little help from those around them.
What Else Can You Do?
If you do not have the means to donate, please share this cause with those you know so we can reach our goal and help Rulon as best we can.