Jordan Burroughs was favored to repeat as gold medalist in the men’s 74-kg freestyle wrestling. Two stunning defeats left him off the medal stand and stunned.
Burroughs, a two-time NCAA champion with Nebraska, won gold in London four years ago but lost twice on Friday to miss the podium.
After the shocking defeats, an emotional Burroughs still answered questions and gave thoughtful, open and honest answers about the sacrifice he and his wife made — and his disappointment.
“I feel like I let my family down, my kids,” Burroughs said. “I missed a lot of important milestones in my children’s lives to pursue this sport. I didn’t see my son walk for the first time. I’ve left my wife at home with two kids for long periods of time to go to training camps, to foreign countries. She did that joyfully, not begrudgingly, because she knew on days like these I always fulfilled my end. Now I feel like I let her down.”
Everything Jordan Burroughs said was raw and emotional. This might have choked him up the most. pic.twitter.com/BzHpcVuZto
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 19, 2016
At 28 years old, Burroughs could try again in four years in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics. But the Rio shock is obviously still there — Craig Sesker, writing for the Lincoln Journal Star, said Burroughs said it was the first time he’s lost two matches in one day in more than 10 years.
— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) August 19, 2016
“I said I was capable of being the greatest wrestler ever. God said prove it. And I couldn’t.”
Head up @alliseeisgold. You will bounce back and become even stronger. Still a legend.
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 19, 2016