Rulon Gardner to be inducted into Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame

By Colorado Springs | June 02, 2006, 2:33 p.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Rulon Gardner, whose stunning win over Russia's Alexander Karelin ranks as one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history, will be inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 25 at the Colorado Springs World Arena.

The seventh annual Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremonies are presented for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation by The Gazette and American National Bank.

Gardner will be joined in the 2006 class by football player Darryl Clack, hockey players Dave and Chuck Delich, the 1982-83 Air Force Academy football teams, and ice dancers Colleen O'Connor and Jim Milns.

Gardner, an Afton, Wyo., native, trained in Colorado Springs for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. He earned a stunning gold medal in Sydney, Australia, in 2000 when he upset three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Karelin the Greco-Roman heavyweight wrestling finals.

Gardner followed that performance by winning a gold medal at the 2001 World Championships. He added a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, before retiring from competition. Gardner won the Sullivan Award, the Jesse Owens Award and the Olympic Spirit Award.

He carried the Olympic flag for the USA delegation at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, where was an All-American heavyweight for the Cornhuskers. He was the celebrity spokesman for the 2005 State Games of America in Colorado Springs.

The athletes and teams to be inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame have received honors and awards at every level of American sport, and each can trace much of that success to their experiences in Colorado Springs and its sports legacy.