Kurt Angle discussed winning an Olympic gold medal with a broken neck in 1996 on a recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show.
Here is what he had to say:
“The next day when I realized I had a broken neck, I went to the doctor and had an MRI. He told me I had four broken vertebrae and three discs sticking directly in my spinal cord. So it was a pretty serious injury. At that point, I wasn’t gonna be cleared to wrestle, so I had to come up with a good game plan with my doctor. We decided the Olympic trials were about two months away and he asked me how long I had. I said about two months. He said, ‘We might be able to make this work.’ We actually came up with a game plan. You can’t do this today with the liabilities, but back then, you were a little more giving. The doctor would give you the option of going for it even if you were injured. There was just less liability.”
“I’m going to Disneyworld! I was so excited. It was my lifelong dream and everything I wanted to do. It’s the only thing I wanted to do, and I set my sights on that from when I was a little kid, and to finally accomplish it 20 years later, it was a huge deal for me. It’s everything I wanted in my life. I said in the NBC interview at the Olympics, ‘If I die tonight, I’d be the happiest man in the world.’ I meant that. I really did. I felt like I could rest now because I did everything I wanted to do.”
H/T to 411 Mania