Gable Steveson poses at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 6, 2021 in Chiba, Japan.
While we haven’t seen the last of Gable Steveson the wrestler, we have seen the last of Gable Steveson the backflipper.
Or so it seems.
In one of his more recent social media posts, the newly-minted Olympic gold medalist shared a photo of his now-famous celebratory gymnastics move and wrote, “The last backflip.. My specialty backflip post match is now retired until further notice… Thank you all for supporting it.”
As to the rest of Steveson’s future, that’s about as up in the air as he was in the photo.
Steveson is, without a doubt, having himself a year.
First the University of Minnesota wrestler won the Big Ten and NCAA heavyweight titles, then he made his first Olympic team at 185 kg. He followed that up with a gold medal at the Pan American Championships, and then a gold medal at the Olympic Games with an incredible last-second comeback against Georgia’s three-time world champion, Geno Petriashvili.
He’s the first American freestyle super heavyweight to win an Olympic wrestling title since Bruce Baumgartner in 1992.
But whether he’s going back to Minnesota, turning pro with either WWE or UFC, or pursuing something else — playing in the NFL, perhaps? — he’s not letting on just yet.
Steveson told Sports Illustrated that a number of NFL teams have reached out, including a scout from the Buffalo Bills. He also has a connection with the Baltimore Ravens, he said.
“The Olympic gold medal is helping me see the world, so my next step is going to be a big decision,” he told the outlet. “I’m going to decompress now and think about it.”
Or maybe the Minnesota Vikings would be interested in doing more than offering Steveson the chance to sound the Gjallarhorn at one of their preseason games, as they did earlier this month. Fellow Golden Gopher championship wrestler Brock Lesnar, after all, got a brief run in preseason with the Vikings in 2004 while on a break from his WWE career.
But if NFL teams are interested in what Steveson might be able to do for them, they aren’t alone.