VIDEOS Rulon Gardner’s successful return to wrestling – does it justify walking off Biggest Loser?

Rulon Gardner Olympic Wrestling Gold Medal Biggest Loser Season 11

Ever since Rulon Gardner walked off The Biggest Loser Season 11, he has been a polarizing character. For fans of the show, especially those who wish they could have one of those coveted spots on Bob Harper’s life changing treadmills, Rulon’s walk off was a slap in the face. How could he so cavalierly brush aside something as precious as a chance to live on the Biggest Loser ranch?

For others, Rulon’s decision was a little more complicated — a little less obviously wrong. And, since that day in the 11th week of the 11th season of the show, more and more people have chosen to walk off (including Joe Messina’s early exit just this week).

But, this week might make some of Rulon’s critics rethink their position. Rulon Gardner, two time Olympian, Gold medalist, and Russian giant killer is back in competitive wrestling . . . and he’s winning.

At this weekend’s Kiki Cup at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Rulon wrestled in four matches. He won four. He didn’t surrender a single point. Wow. (I will include video clips from each match at the bottom of the post.)

Here is an interview with Rulon after his Kiki Cup victories in which he talks in detail about returning to the matt after more than 7 1/2 years:

We suspected at the time that it was no coincidence that Rulon left the Biggest Loser just as he hit his old competition weight. And, when he went straight to Colorado to start training, it looked like he was much more interested in getting into shape for wrestling than for the big reveal at the Biggest Loser finale. (Wrestlers are fit, but they aren’t exactly svelte!) Now, we have even more reason to believe that Gardner thought that continuing on the Biggest Loser might do him more harm than good.

In an interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette, Gardner estimates that 60 of the 188 lbs. he lost on the Biggest Loser was muscle. As soon as he left the show, he changed up his workouts and focused on building that muscle back up, while at the same time continuing to try to lose fat.

In fact, Rulon still has quite a bit of weight to lose if he wants to compete in Olympic competitions. Currently, he is at least 30 lbs. over the maximum 120 kilo mark. (The Kiki Cup didn’t require such a weigh in.) The Biggest Loser is always talking about what’s important about the show is what you do when you get home. Well, like him or not, Rulon is passing that test with flying (Red, White, and Blue) colors.

So, what do you think? Was Rulon right to walk of the show and change his workouts to help him as a wrestler, or was he wrong to leave the show when he did?

While you mull that over, check out Rulon being The Biggest Winner in his four matches at the Kiki Cup:

2012 Kiki Cup 120: Dharmender Dalal (IND) (INTL) vs. Rulon Gardner (USA #3)

2012 Kiki Cup 120: Pal Rishi (India) vs. Rulon Gardner (USA #3)

2012 Kiki Cup 120: Rulon Gardner (USA #3) vs. Andres Bernardino (Spain)

2012 Kiki Cup 120: Rulon Gardner (USA #3) vs. Daniele Ficara Rocco (Italy)

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