Kurt Angle profile

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Angle is the first and only Olympic gold medallist in the history of sports entertainment, winning gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games in the heavyweight freestyle wrestling category. Not only that, he did it with a broken neck. And while Kurt is landing some roles in Hollywood as of late (being cast in films such as Warrior and Pain & Gain) he’s still going at it in the wrestling ring.

One of the world’s most prominent wrestling promoters, Dixie Carter of TNA Impact Wrestling, recently named Kurt as the most indestructible wrestler she had ever met. Having found his way to the WWE in 1998, few expected Kurt’s technical style to translate well because the audience at this time was more accustomed to seeing fighters swinging chairs than using submission holds. But it did translate, and Kurt moved up the card very quickly, holding multiple world titles along the way.

After an incredible run, the years of physical exhaustion and long standing injuries were beginning to take their toll. He left the WWE in 2006 and critics began questioning his desire to continue pro wrestling. The doubters were silenced that same year when Angle made his debut on TNA Impact Wrestling. One of the world’s top grapplers was now working for the competition and enthralling fans with a whole new set of potential matches.

Many feel that Kurt Angle’s world title reigns at TNA have elevated the company to a level akin with WWE (with big names such as Hulk Hogan making appearances soon after). But for his fans, the overriding message is to keep fighting, no matter what life throws at you.

Perhaps Kurt’s most difficult opponent has been himself. Having taken time out earlier this year to address alcohol issues, he made a successful return to TNA in October.  Kurt is a great example of the fighter that gets up each time he is knocked down. He’s also one of only four people in the world to complete the Grand Slam in amateur wrestling (Junior Nationals, NCAAs, World Championships and the Olympics).

These days Kurt Angle is as focused as ever. He’s back on form in the world of pro wrestling and having some standout matches. He’s also headlining a tour to the UK in January. At 44, and having suffered rib injuries, dislocations and concussions, many would agree that his determination and credible sporting background makes Kurt Angle one of pro wrestling’s most legitimate tough guys.

Scott Felstead

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