Alexander Karelin attempts to overpower Gardner during their 130-kilogram division Olympic gold medal match in 2000. Karelin had won the gold in 1992 and 1996 and had not lost an international match in 10 years.
2 of 19Bob Martin/SI
An elated Gardner cannot contain his excitement following his upset of Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Olympics.
3 of 19Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Gardner circles the arena with an American flag after his improbable upset of Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Olympics.
4 of 19Billy Stickland/Getty Images
An official declares Gardner the winner of the Greco Roman wrestling gold medal in the 130-kilogram division over Alexander Karelin. With four seconds left in the match, Karelin bowed his head and conceded to Gardner, a heavy underdog going into the match.
5 of 19Walter Iooss Jr./SI
A proud Gardner poses with his Olympic gold medal in front of the Sydney Opera House.
6 of 19GEORGE FREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Gardner waves to his hometown crowd as he walks down Main Street in Afton, Wyo., following his upset of Russia's Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Olympics.
7 of 19Getty Images
Gardner appears in the memorable Got Milk? ad series in 2001. Gardner's mother said, as a child, her son would carry around four milk buckets at a time while working on their family farm.
8 of 19Traviss Lovell/AFP/Getty Images)
Gardner lifts Olympic gold medal diver Laura Wilkinson onto his shoulder after they were awarded the 2000 U.S. Olympic Spirit Award.
9 of 19KMazur/WireImage
Tiger Woods and Gardner take a moment for publicity in Las Vegas in 2001.
10 of 19Joey Terrill/SI
On two feet but only nine toes, Gardner poses in front of the helicopter that rescued him from a snowmobile mishap that left him stranded in the wilderness.
11 of 19 Joey Terrill/SI
Gardner can't bear to look at his feet during a 2002 rehabilitation session for frostbite he suffered after a February 2002 snowmobile accident.
12 of 19Rich Frishman/SI
Gardner poses on a weight bench with a jar containing his amputated toe. Gardner sustained frostbite after a Feb. 14, 2002 snowmobile mishap, and the resulting treatment cost him his toe.
13 of 19Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Actor Adrien Brody and Gardner appear together on in 2004.
14 of 19PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Gardner's disappointment is visible after he fails to match his improbable 2000 performance during the 2004 Olympics. Gardner won the bronze medal, but retired shortly after the match.
15 of 19Lynn Johnson/SI
Gardner stands with an Olympic representative during the 2004 medal ceremony. Gardner won bronze in 2004, and shortly thereafter retired from competitive wrestling.
16 of 19Alex Wong/Getty Images
A member of the 2004 Olympic team, Gardner was invited to the White House for some quality time with then-president George W. Bush.
17 of 19Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA official Tom Washington is helpless as Gardner carries him across the floor during a Miami Heat-Utah Jazz game in Utah.
18 of 19John W. McDonough/SI
Gardner messes around with fellow U.S. wrestler Dremiel Byers atop the Great Wall of China before the start of the Beijing Games.
19 of 19AP
In 2011, Gardner joined The Biggest Loser in an attempt to lose some of the 175 pounds he had gained since his 2000 Olympic medal. As of March 23, Gardner had lost 112 pounds.
You May Like
More More Sports
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!