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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
04/20/2014
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Former Husker Rulon Gardner won two Olympic medals, including a gold in 2000.

Huskers In The Olympics

Nebraska wrestlers have enjoyed success during their collegiate years, but quite a few have continued their careers on the international level and also achieved lofty accomplishments there. NU wrestling was especially in the spotlight during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where two former Huskers, Rulon Gardner and Matt Lindland, proudly competed for the United States.
 
Gardner, a 1993 All-American at Nebraska, pulled off one of the most remarkable upsets in sports history. Gardner captured the attention of the nation with his dramatic 1-0 overtime victory over previously undefeated Alexander Karelin of Russia to take the Greco-Roman heavyweight gold medal. Gardner was a two-year letterwinner for the Huskers and posted a collegiate career of 58-15-2 while at Nebraska.
 
Lindland, a 1993 Big 12 champion for the Huskers, was equally as impressive in Sydney, earning a silver medal at the 76 kilogram (167.5 pound) weight class of the Greco-Roman division. Lindland was a three-year letterwinner for the Huskers, compiling a career record of 60-15. He still holds the single-season winning percentage record for his mark of 36-1 (.973) in 1992-93.
Two-time NCAA champion Jordan Burroughs won the freestyle gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. He defeated Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi to win at 163 pounds. In addition, Burroughs captured FILA World titles in 2011 and 2013.
 
Below is the complete list of Nebraska wrestlers that have competed in the Olympics, including the weight and division they competed in.
Year Wrestler Division Weight Place
1960 Dan Brand Freestyle Light Hwt 5th
1964 Dan Brand Freestyle Middleweight 3rd
1988 Jim Scherr Freestyle 198 lbs 5th
1988 Bill Scherr Freestyle 220 lbs 3rd
2000 Rulon Gardner Greco-Roman Hwt 1st
2000 Matt Lindland Greco-Roman 167 lbs 2nd
2004 Rulon Gardner Greco-Roman Hwt 3rd
2004 Brad Vering Greco-Roman 185 lbs 11th
2008 Brad Vering Greco-Roman 185 lbs DNP
2012 Jordan Burroughs Freestyle 163 lbs 1st

Former Husker Bill Scherr won a World Championship in 1986 after completing his eligibilty at NU.

NU at the International Level

Nebraska wrestlers have enjoyed success during their collegiate years, but quite a few have continued their careers on the international level and also achieved lofty accomplishments there. Huskers have won 16 medals at the championships, including titles by Bill Scherr in 1986, Rulon Gardner in 2001 and Jordan Burroughs in 2011 and 2013. Brad Vering was named the 2007 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling after his silver medal performance at the 2007 FILA World Championships. Listed below are achievements Nebraska wrestlers have attained in international competition, including the weight they competed in.

FILA World Championships

Year

Wrestler

Division

Weight

Place

1962

Dan Brand

Greco-Roman

97 kg

3rd

1963

Jim Raschke

Greco-Roman

Hwt.

3rd

1985

Bill Scherr

Freestyle

90 kg

1st

1986

Bill Scherr

Freestyle

100 kg

2nd

 

Jim Scherr

Freestyle

90 kg

3rd

1987

Bill Scherr

Freestyle

100 kg

3rd

 

Jim Scherr

Freestyle

90 kg

2nd

1989

Bill Scherr

Freestyle

100 kg

2nd

 

Jim Scherr

Freestyle

90 kg

2nd

2001

Rulon Gardner

Greco-Roman

130 kg

1st

 

Matt Lindland

Greco-Roman

85 kg

2nd

2005

Justin Ruiz

Greco-Roman

96 kg

3rd

 

Tolly Thompson

Freestyle

120 kg

3rd

2007

Brad Vering

Greco-Roman

84 kg

2nd

2010 Justin Ruiz Greco-Roman 96 kg 5th
2011 Jordan Burroughs Freestyle 74 kg 1st
2013 Jordan Burroughs Freestyle 74 kg 1st

 

World Cup Champions

Year Wreslter Weight
1986 Jim Scherr 180.5
1989 Jim Scherr 198
  Bill Scherr 220
1996 Matt Lindland 163
  Rulon Gardner Hwt

 

Pan-American Champions

Year Wrestler Weight
1996 Ryan Tobin 198
2011 Jordan Burroughs 163

 

Goodwill Games

Year Wrestler Weight Place
1990 Bill Scherr 220 1st
  Jim Scherr 198 2nd
1994 Brad Penrith* 126 3rd

 *-Penrith was also an assistant coach for the team at the 1994 Goodwill Games.

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