Warrior Star Kurt Angle Is Training For Return To Olympics
TNA superstar and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle is making a bid to return to the Olympics in 2012. Appearing as the Russian mixed martial arts fighter Koba in the film Warrior, opening today, Angle said that he still has the ability to do well at the Olympics. "My takedown skills are almost as sharp as they were in ’96," Angle told Uinterview. "I still have a lot of fuel left in my tank."
Angle said that training for his role in Warrior, which, in addition to requiring him to learn Russian, also meant he had to drop thirty pounds, was what convinced him he could go back to the Olympics. "What sparked me to do it was the fact that I trained for Warrior, and also training to go, possibly go to UFC at the time," he said. "It showed me that I still have a lot of ability."
Angle said he's faced his share of push-back from those who say he might be past his prime. "I actually had a coach tell me, 'You realize, you know, what you have to do to make the Olympic team … the sacrifices you have to make,'" he said. Angle, a veteran athlete and performer, said he couldn't believe the coach acted like he had anything to learn. "I’m thinking, 'Did this guy just ask me, who already has done it, what it takes?' I’m like, 'Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he just asked me that.' And I said, 'Listen, I’ve been there before. I’m not dumb.'"
While it may seem Angle has too much on his plate to make a successful bid for the London games, he says his contract with TNA Impact Wrestling actually gives him the flexibility he needs to prepare. "The president of TNA is on board with me doing the Olympics. She has given me ample time to train," he said, adding that he thinks his chances are good. "So, I have a really good shot of making the team. There are a lot of great wrestlers out there in my weight class, but I didn’t realize that I was going to be as sharp as I am right now."
Watch the trailer for Warrior, which co-stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, here: