David Taylor celebrates at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 5, 2021 in Tokyo.
The “Magic Man” David Taylor is an Olympic champion, Helen Maroulis’ long journey brought her to the bronze medal and first-time Olympian David Gilman earned bronze as well in a big night for U.S. wrestlers in Tokyo on Thursday.
Making his much-anticipated Olympic debut, Taylor was an unstoppable force throughout the tournament in the 86 kg. classification. He won his first three matches by technical fall before facing top-seeded Hassan “The Greatest” Yazdanicharati, the defending gold medalist from Iran. Taylor came in with a 2-0 advantage, including a win at the 2018 world championships, and despite falling behind early on the Magic Man turned it on with a takedown to tie it. Yazdanicharati earned a point but Taylor’s second takedown with 20 seconds remaining put him up 4-3 before the final seconds ticked off the clock. Taylor, 30, of Penn State fame, is now undefeated in 52 consecutive international matches.