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Watch Kurt Angle Win Olympic Gold In 1996 With A Broken Freakin Neck

Alright, once again, there's no particular reason for me to be blogging this clip right now - it's not the anniversary of it or anyone's birthday or anything - but it's one of the all time under-appreciated sports moments and just popped up on my YouTube recommendations, so fuck it! This is one of those clips I feel like everybody has heard about, but few have actually seen. 

There's a crazy story behind it, too!

Basically, Angle broke his neck six months out from the 1996 Atlanta Games, in the semi-final match of the national trials. He came down real hard on his head and suffered two bulged and herniated disks, two cracked vertebrae, and a bunch of pulled muscles in his neck. Somehow, he pulled out an upset in that match with less than a minute left, taking it from a 3-0 defeat to a 4-3 victory - and then later went on to win again in the finals, too!

Kurt's next obstacle was finding a doctor that would clear him and his broken freakin neck for the Olympics, which he eventually did. In his own words...

"Fortunately, I found a doctor either smart enough or stupid enough to allow me to wrestle.

He came up with a great concept that basically said, 'You can't train any more, and when you do try out for the Olympics, and at the Games if you make it, we'll shoot you in the neck with a bunch of novocaine so you can't feel the pain'. 

That's how I got through it. I could tell you an hour after each of my matches I was in excruciating pain, but in the long run it was worth it."

Pretty fucking crazy. 

As if that wasn't enough to deal with, John Du Pont then shot and murdered Angle's wrestling coach/mentor, Dave Schultz, so he had that on his plate too, but Angle's resiliency took him through it all, and he eventually got his Gold Medal with that broken freakin neck!!! Just an awesome American tale.

P.S. Also, his opponent tested positive for steroids afterwards. Didn't matter. Angle won anyway.