Kurt Angle of the US displays the national flag after winning the gold medal in the men’s 100kg Olympic freestyle wrestling event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. (AFP-IOP/AFP/Getty Images)
On Thursday, wrestling star and former Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle announced that he will no longer be competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
Angle announced the news to fans via his Twitter feed. “Due to Hamstring Knee Injuries, I’m forced to Pull Out of trials. Had a talk W/ Usa Wrestling Coach Zeke Jones Who has Supported Me all Year.”
Despite blatant skepticism of his vying for a spot on the Olympic Team, Angle pushed forward, even after tearing his right hamstring during a training session last month. Then, during a training session on Monday, he partially tore the MCL in his right knee.
“I went in for a shot, and when I pulled out, my hamstring popped, and when that happened, I knew it wasn’t good,” Angle told Channel 4 Action News In Pittsburgh, on March 30. “If this is a tear, my whole leg will turn black and blue, and then I have to rehab it for at least 3 to 4 weeks, and the trials are only 3 1/2 weeks away.”
Dave Hawk, Angle’s trainer, announced, “It’s official; Kurt Angle’s hamstring/knee injury will pull him from the Olympic Trails on April 21-22.” He went on to say, “Kurt’s injury limits his work off the ground with amateur Olympic style wrestling.”
Angle initially planned to wrestle in Iowa’s Olympic Team Trials despite his hamstring injury, but was unable to overcome the blow to his MCL.
“I’m extremely disappointed in this turn of events. Amateur wrestling is the sport that I am the best at and it was my dream to compete again at the Olympic level. I thought long and hard about moving forward with competing at the trials, but at this point my doctors have advised me that my condition would only worsen. This is currently not a career ending injury and I cannot risk injuring myself further. Moreover, I know how many incredible young athletes have been working hard for this same achievement and I realize I would not be able to give those opponents 100 percent. I wish all the wrestlers competing the very best.”