I remember watching Rulon Gardner win the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics against all odds. His victory was one of the greatest upsets in
Olympic history. He handed three-time Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin of Russia the only defeat of his 13-year
international career, winning by 1-0 in the gold medal match of the
Greco-Roman superheavyweight division.
When I read that the small plane Gardner was flying in hit the water in a remote part of Lake Powell in southern Utah recently, I had confidence he could beat the odds again. In addition to his Olympic underdog success, he had already survived two accidents. In 2002, he had to have a toe amputated because of frostbite after he was stranded in the wilderness overnight while snowmobiling in Wyoming; two years later, he was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle in Colorado Springs.