Rulon Gardner

Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Biggest Loser Contestant

Rulon Gardner was born on August 16, 1971 in Afton, Wyoming. Rulon is the youngest of nine children born to Reed and Virginia Gardner. Raised on a dairy farm where they grew their own crops and milked cows twice a day, there was never a shortage of work to be done. In school, he struggled with reading speed and comprehension but with the help and support of his family, was able to successfully complete high school and earn a wrestling scholarship to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. From Ricks College, Rulon Gardner received a Division 1 scholarship to wrestle for the University of Nebraska.

Rulon’s wrestling career began when he was six years old when he began to compete in an annual wrestling tournament held in Star Valley, Wyoming. He competed throughout junior high and high school and continued until he graduated from the University of Nebraska.

After graduation from the University of Nebraska with a degree in physical education, Rulon continued his wrestling career as he dedicated himself full-time to training for the U.S.A. Olympic team.

When he won the Olympic gold medal for Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, Rulon became the pride of a nation and a new American hero. In an amazing contest of rookie vs. veteran, and the United States versus Russia, Rulon captivated the world when he took the gold from three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Karelin.

Following his victory, Rulon Gardner was named the Sportsman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and also received the US Olympic Spirit Award. In 2001, he was given the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award for the nation's top amateur athlete who succeeds in athletic excellence, character, leadership, and sportsmanship. His accomplishments, along with his work ethic, make Gardner an inspiring sports speaker.

Offering valuable insights into the actual cost of peak performance, Rulon Gardner guides audiences down his path to Olympic gold - and ultimately into American legend. In a presentation which highlights his experiences on the mat, Gardner teaches that through individual greatness, teams are built and motivation is inspired. 

His achievement embodies the spirit of a champion — determination, self-confidence and the drive to win in spite of overwhelming obstacles. An engaging and inspirational speaker, Rulon shares his story of dedication, motivation and sacrifice and instills in his audience a true winning spirit. 

To book overcoming adversity and Olympic speaker Rulon Gardner call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Attitude, Celebrity, Coaching, Inspiration, Motivation, Olympians, Overcoming Adversity, Peak Performance, Sports

  • Travels From:

    Utah

  • Price:

    $7,500 - $10,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

Sweet Success: A conversation with Rulon Gardner

Olympic wrestling medalist Rulon Gardner speaks at Decorah

Rulon Gardner was born on August 16, 1971 in Afton, Wyoming. Rulon is the youngest of nine children born to Reed and Virginia Gardner. Raised on a dairy farm where they grew their own crops and milked cows twice a day, there was never a shortage of work to be done. In school, he struggled with reading speed and comprehension but with the help and support of his family, was able to successfully complete high school and earn a wrestling scholarship to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. From Ricks College, Rulon Gardner received a Division 1 scholarship to wrestle for the University of Nebraska.

Rulon’s wrestling career began when he was six years old when he began to compete in an annual wrestling tournament held in Star Valley, Wyoming. He competed throughout junior high and high school and continued until he graduated from the University of Nebraska.

After graduation from the University of Nebraska with a degree in physical education, Rulon continued his wrestling career as he dedicated himself full-time to training for the U.S.A. Olympic team.

When he won the Olympic gold medal for Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, Rulon became the pride of a nation and a new American hero. In an amazing contest of rookie vs. veteran, and the United States versus Russia, Rulon captivated the world when he took the gold from three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Karelin.

Following his victory, Rulon Gardner was named the Sportsman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and also received the US Olympic Spirit Award. In 2001, he was given the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award for the nation's top amateur athlete who succeeds in athletic excellence, character, leadership, and sportsmanship. His accomplishments, along with his work ethic, make Gardner an inspiring sports speaker.

Offering valuable insights into the actual cost of peak performance, Rulon Gardner guides audiences down his path to Olympic gold - and ultimately into American legend. In a presentation which highlights his experiences on the mat, Gardner teaches that through individual greatness, teams are built and motivation is inspired. 

His achievement embodies the spirit of a champion — determination, self-confidence and the drive to win in spite of overwhelming obstacles. An engaging and inspirational speaker, Rulon shares his story of dedication, motivation and sacrifice and instills in his audience a true winning spirit. 

To book overcoming adversity and Olympic speaker Rulon Gardner call Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

Never Give Up, Never Stop Trying: 7 Steps to Success

  1. Go Back to the Basics
  2. Turn the Negatives into Positives
  3. Aim High When You're Feeling Low
  4. Enlist Others
  5. Train Hard
  6. Take Care of Business
  7. Don't Rest on Your Laurels

Go Back To The Basics

Aim High When You are Feeling Low

IBM

"Rulon was an outstanding success at our meeting in Cancun last week. He did a great job. He really played to the audience and they loved him. His warm, open personality and sense of humor were evident both on and off-stage. At the end of the interview, he posed with the attendees while everyone took pictures."

Mechanical Contractors of America

"Rulon was a charmer. He is a very compelling speaker. He comes across as your all American hometown boy. We liked the tennis shoes. Another plus-he recites his presentation without ever going to the podium. His practice makes perfect. He was a hit."

American Skandia

"Rulon did an outstanding job! Not only was his speech great, but he stuck around for two hours to sign autographs. I would absolutely recommend him for another conference."
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