In an astonishing buzzer-beating comeback, U.S. heavyweight wrestler Gable Stevenson, 21, became the first American heavyweight wrestler to win a gold medal at the Olympics in almost thirty years, defeating the number one-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the world.
Competing in the Olympic men’s freestyle 125kg event, Stevenson, who hails from Apple Valley, Minnesota, was losing 8-5 to Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili, who was ranked #1 and is a three-time world champion, with less than 10 seconds left when he executed two takedowns, one literally with one second left on the clock.
“He was down three points with 23 seconds remaining in the match. He somehow managed to score five points as time expired to pick up the gold medal for the U.S.,” Fox News pointed out.
“Trailing 4-0 after the first period, Petriashvili rallied back before the American earned a 9-8 comeback victory. Steveson earned the gold medal after outscoring his opponents – including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Taha Akgul of Turkey – 23-0 in the first three rounds,” The New York Post reported.
But then Stevenson made his amazing comeback, as seen below:
Gable Steveson had an incredible comeback in the final seconds to win gold at 125kg with what was basically a buzzer-beater.pic.twitter.com/7XXGBQ3cT6
— The Big Lead (@TheBigLead) August 6, 2021
“The Georgian corner challenged the call, but video review confirmed that Steveson scored the takedown with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Steveson was awarded an additional penalty point for the failed Georgia challenge for a 10-8 final and a victory for the gold medal,” Yahoo News reported.
After his fantastic comeback, Stevenson, who weighs 275 pounds, launched a backflip:
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 6, 2021
While his family at home went bonkers:
— Mark Vancleave (@MDVancleave) August 6, 2021
”The reigning Pan American Continental champion won his first NCAA title in March and was the co-winner of the Hodge Trophy – given to the best college wrestler in the country – last season after a 17-0 year with the Gophers. He holds a 34-match win streak in collegiate play,” the Post noted.
The last time an American heavyweight wrestler won the Olympic gold medal came in 1992, when wrestler Bruce Baumgartner won the gold medal in Barcelona, Spain. Prior to that, Baumgartner won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and a silver in 1988 in the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, later winning a bronze medal in 1996 in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
Gable Stevenson is named for the iconic American wrestler Dan Gable, who won the 1972 gold medal and did not lose a single point during the six matches he fought. He was head coach of three Olympic teams and received the Presidential Medal Of Freedom from President Trump in 2020.
Some famous statements from Gable: “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.” “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”
The quote from Gable most germane to Stevenson’s incredible victory: “The 1stperiod is won by the best technician. The 2ndperiod is won by the kid in the best shape. The 3rd period is won by the kid with the biggest heart.”
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