Who is... Jordan Burroughs
Name: Jordan Burroughs
Country: United States
Age: 27 (will be 28 during the Olympics)
Weight class: Men's freestyle, 74kg (163 lbs)
- 2012 Olympic gold medalist
- Ranked #1 in the world at 74kg by United World Wrestling
- Three-time World Championships gold medalist (2011, 2013, 2015)
- 2014 World Championships bronze medalist
- Two-time Pan American Games champion (2011, 2015)
- Four-time U.S. Open champion (2011-2014)
- Two-time undefeated NCAA champion (2009, 2011)
- 2011 Dan Hodge Trophy winner (most outstanding college wrestler)
- Holds the U.S. record for longest winning streak in international competition (69 matches from 2011-2014)
Olympic history: Burroughs made his Olympic debut at the London Games in 2012, where he defeated Russia's Denis Tsargush in the semifinal and Iran's Sadegh Goudarzi in the final to win the gold medal in men's freestyle's 74kg division.
Olympic outlook: As the number #1 ranked wrestler in the world at 74kg, Burroughs is the favorite to repeat as Olympic gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Games.
How he got started in wrestling: "I started wrestling when I was five years old. My first tournament, I went 1-1, and I didn't medal, but they gave out participation trophies. When I received a trophy, I thought I had actually won and I was hooked. I wanted to keep wrestling so I could get more trophies."
Personal motto: "All I see is gold." Says Burroughs: "That phrase stands for my belief that regardless of circumstance, you can always come out on top. I ignore distractions and obstacles and always keep my eyes on the prize."
Training regimen: "A typical training day for me varies depending on where we are in our training cycle. I usually lift three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). I am in the wrestling room typically six times a week, for about two hours apiece, learning techniques and working on conditioning. I usually have 1-2 days off per week."
Nutrition: "I eat a carb and sugar-free diet when I am preparing for an event. I typically start my day off with a smoothie. For lunch, I usually have fresh juice or a salad, and for dinner, grilled chicken or fish with a bunch of veggies, and a large amount of water throughout the day."
Thoughts on training for the Olympics: "It is extremely fun. Outside of all the necessary sacrifices that you make to be the best at your sport, there are a bunch of benefits. I have met lifelong friends, traveled the world, and been transformed through competition into the man that I am today."
Greatest influences: Larry Bird (basketball): "He embodied toughness and being a die-hard competitor. He also wanted to win more than he wanted to be famous." Kenny Monday (wrestling): "Before the Olympics in London, he spent hours talking to me about his experiences as a gold medalist in 1988. He is a great athlete and man."
Overcoming obstacles: "The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome has been complacency. It is very easy to be undisciplined in your life and training habits and get steered off course from your goals. Staying focused can be tough, but our goals keep us focused."
Pre-competition ritual: "I like to shower right before every event. I take my time getting dressed, and I warm up without my singlet on. I like to warm up as hard as possible, stretch and rehydrate, put my singlet on, headphones, and then wait for my name to be called."
College: Burroughs graduated from the University of Nebraska in May 2011 with a degree in sociology. While there, he won NCAA championships as a junior in 2009 and a senior in 2011, going undefeated both seasons.
Family life: Jordan Burroughs married his wife, Lauren, in October 2013. They had their first son, Beacon, in July 2014 and are expecting a second child before the Rio Games. Lauren and Beacon can always be seen by Jordan's side, whether it's at competitions or media events. Beacon Burroughs has already become a bit of a social media celebrity, racking up thousands of Instagram followers (@beaconburroughs) well before his second birthday.
Favorite musicians: Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, Jay-Z
Charitable work: "[My wife and I] are members of a church here in Nebraska named Calvary Chapel West Omaha, as well as Beat the Streets organizations throughout the country. Beat the Streets works to help inner city kids get off of the streets and onto wrestling mats throughout the U.S."
If he weren't an athlete: "I would like to work in advertising and marketing. I consider myself extremely creative, and I would like to create ads for large corporations. After I retire from wrestling, I have many business endeavors that I would like to pursue."