Kurt Angle has opened up about why he decided against trying to compete at the 2004 Olympics despite initially planning to a break from WWE to secure gold.
While Kurt Angle is widely-regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time, he had already created an impressive legacy in the amateur ranks long before ever setting foot in a WWE ring.
As an amateur, Angle was an All-American and two-time NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion, won the World Championships in 1995 and famously won Olympic gold in 1996 with a broken ‘freakin’ neck.
Despite going on to achieve incredible success in WWE and IMPACT Wrestling, Angle always retained one eye on the amateur game and expressed his desire to win another Olympic gold medal.
On one such occasion with the 2004 Olympics looming on the horizon, Angle gave serious thought to stepping away from WWE in order to compete at the games in Athens. However, the WWE Hall of Famer decided against the move and remained with WWE.
Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast The Kurt Angle Show, the former World Champion broke down why he decided to stay with WWE.
Yes, I was seriously considering it. I thought about it day and night all the time. The problem is what Dave Meltzer said, he’s right. If I would have won the Olympic gold medal in 2004, I would have become the biggest star of all time. But if I don’t win the Olympic gold medal, even a bronze or a silver, I’m screwed. And I just lost my reputation of being the Olympic gold medallist, and not that being a silver medallist or bronze medallist is bad, it’s awesome. But to you know, lower yourself to another standard of metal the following Olympics is going to make people remember Hey, he didn’t win he lost.
So I didn’t want to take that chance by leaving the company and going to the Olympics, and it was a long shot. I mean, I really for me to win the gold medal, it was like 1000 to 1 odds, it really was because I was out of the sport for eight years and come back and get yourself ready, It’s gonna take a lot more than a year of training to do that.”
Despite this, Angle later set his sights on the 2012 Olympic Games in London at the age of 43. However, with injuries piling up the star missed the trials and so missed the event once more.
Although Angle is now also retired from his pro wrestling career, he recently admitted that he could get back in the ring for one more match.
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