An Olympian, a decorated professional wrestler, and an alumni of Clarion University, Kurt Angle is kind of a big deal. Born in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1968, Kurt started out his wrestling career young at the age of seven. While in high school, he went undefeated his freshman year of high school, and had continued success throughout his high school career. Once graduated, he decided to attend Clarion University and continue his wrestling career.
While attending Clarion, from the years of 1988 to 1992, he was a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion, a national runner-up in 1991, and a three-time NCAA Division I All-American. He was also able to accomplish being named the 1987 USA Junior Freestyle champion, a two-time USA Senior Freestyle champion, and in 1988, he was the USA International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles Junior World Freestyle champion. However, it was after Kurt graduated from Clarion that his wrestling career really started to take off.
He won a gold medal at the FILA Wrestling World Championships in 1995, and he began training for the 1996 Summer Olympics. While participating in the Olympics, Kurt had suffered a severe neck injury; he fractured two of his cervical vertebrae, herniated two discs and pulled four muscles. Through all of this, he still won the trials in the Olympics. He was then offered a contract by the WWE, then known as the WWF, but he turned down the offer. He would eventually change his mind in 1998, where he signed an eight year contract with WWE; he was involved with two other wrestling organizations, ECW and NWA, before he signed with WWE.
In his eight years with WWE, he was both the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE champion, as well as an Intercontinental Champion, European Champion, WWE Tag Team Champion, and a Hardcore Champion. He was also named the King of the Ring in 2000, and is actually being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year! Although, it is important to note that he also had success in another wrestling company before he was chosen to be an inductee in WWE Hall of Fame.
Angle wrestled is last match in WWE on August 8, 2006. Less than two months later, Kurt was signed to a contract for Total Nonstop Action, TNA for short. This jump to a new company did not stop Kurt’s success in the wrestling industry, and he spent ten years with TNA. While there, he was TNA World Heavyweight Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion, and TNA X Division Champion, as well being inducted in TNA’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
From Kurt’s amateur wrestling career to now, he has held many other championships and has accomplished so much more than what I have included in this article. He is truly one of the greats of the wrestling industry. More than anything, he proves that you can come from a small town background and still accomplish anything you put your mind to.