25 Oct 2013

  • Posted by Utah Martial Arts Feeds
  • Grappling Heroes: Freestyle Wrestling-Bruce Baumgartner-USA

    This Article comes from Ruiz Combat Grappling – Blog
    To see the full original article click here

    Bruce Baumgartner is the most decorated American wrestler of all time. He dominated over a decade of competition winning 4 Olympic medals, 9 world medals, including two Olympic golds and 3 World Championships, 8 World Cup
    championships, and 17 National championships.
    When it comes to talking about ‘Best of All Time’ in American wrestling unfortunately for some reason Bruce often gets overlooked. In my mind he is the one and only choice hands down.

    In a country that prides itself on one-hit Olympic wonders and some time world medalists Bruce deserves much more recognition than he often receives. He was never a flashy wrestler but he consistently represented himself and the
    Unites States in world and Olympic competition. For years the US took for granted the medals that Bruce would bring home in the heavyweight division. 
    Baumgartner won his first Olympic medal (Gold 1984) at age 24 and his last at age 36 (Bronze 1996). Since his retirement from competition the US has struggled in bringing home medals in the Freestyle heavy weight division. 

    I only had one opportunity to watch Bruce Baumgartner live in action. I was fortunate enough to see him dominate Tom Erikson in the finals match of the 1995 national championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Erikson would later go on to become a Mixed Martial Arts champion.

    Bruce was a force of nature and was the biggest human being I had ever seen. He was big and powerful. He exuded determination and acted and performed with a purpose.

    The thing that stood out most to me about him wasn’t his obliteration of Erikson but that after he had finished winning his national title he continued training. He began vigorously jumping rope; he ran sprints up and down the arena floor. He had a look of steel on his face. His determination was incredible. He was preparing for the 1995 freestyle world championships which were going to be held in Atlanta, Georgia. Bruce went on to win the world championships that year as well. 

    His example stuck with me for years and it was one of the more influential things I’ve witnessed as a wrestler.

    Resources: Bruce Baumgartner


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