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Kurt Angle reveals Olympic peers NEVER congratulated him for WWE success

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WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle revealed he never received praise from the Olympic community for his legendary success in professional wrestling.

Angle, 55, triumphed in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic Games as he overcame serious injuries to win a stunning gold medal in men’s freestyle wrestling with a broken neck.

Kurt Angle never received praise from his Olympic peers for his pro wrestling success

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Kurt Angle never received praise from his Olympic peers for his pro wrestling successCredit: The Sun
Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling back in the Atlanta Olympics

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Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling back in the Atlanta OlympicsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The American wrestler then crossed over to WWE just two years later and went on to become one of the absolute best as he won six world titles with victories over the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and more.

And The Olympic Hero’s success in the squared circle opened the door for other hopefuls, such as Brock Lesnar, Chad Gable and , who found more financial gains away from amateur wrestling.

However, the ex-WWE Champion’s former Team USA team-mates never reached out to congratulate him throughout his 21-year career as the sport is still “frowned upon” by freestyle wrestling.

Nevertheless, the former World Heavyweight Champion has no hard feelings as his Olympic past is a part of his life that he will always cherish.

Angle told SunSport when asked if his WWE career ever received recognition from his Olympic peers: “No, but there’s a reason for that. Amateur wrestling kind of frowns upon pro wrestling.

“You have to understand here in the United States, when people say, ‘Are you a wrestler?’ First thing people think is WWE.

“And so if I’m an Olympian and you walk up to me and you say, ‘What do you do for a living?’ ‘I’m a wrestler.’ ‘Oh, one of those ‘rasslers’ on TV!’ It’s like, ‘No, I’m a real wrestler’.

“So there’s a certain status of you know, when you’re an amateur wrestler, you think above and beyond pro wrestling. I’m a pro wrestler and amateur wrestler.

“But I think me coming into pro wrestling, really loosened up the reins on the amateur wrestling community and they started thinking, ‘Oh, okay. People can make a living doing this’.

“As an amateur wrestler it’s really difficult to make a living after you perform or compete at the Olympics. I mean, you can continue to compete and you’ll make money doing that. But you know, you won’t have a nest egg when you’re done. You know, you won’t be able to retire for good.

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“I opened up a lot of doors. Brock Lesnar came through it, Shelton Benjamin, Otis, Chad Gable, Gable Steveson.

“So I kind of opened up the doors for a lot of wrestlers to realise that there’s life after amateur wrestling and it could be MMA, it could be pro wrestling, it could be coaching, whatever it is you choose.”

No hard feelings

Angle, though, still remains in touch with the US freestyle wrestling team and almost landed a role ahead of the summer Olympics in Paris.

The Olympic Gold Medallist was hoping to work as a commentator but he missed out on the job.

Nevertheless, the Olympian is adamant he will still be rooting for his country’s athletes when he watches the 2024 Olympics from Pittsburgh.

Angle added: “There was a point in time where I was looking to do some commentating but to be honest with you, that’s not going to happen because they already have the team ready. I was a little bit too late getting back to them on that.

“But what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna sit back and watch and enjoy the Olympics just like everybody else.

“It’s my favorite time of the year, it’s only every four years and it’s a really special time to be able to watch your athletes from your country represent you and do their best and possibly win gold. There’s nothing better than that.”

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