He won Olympic gold in 2012 and is heading to Rio hoping to add another gold to his collection.
Jordan Burroughs fell in love with freestyle wrestling when he was just five years old. Ironically, his inspiration to become a fierce competitor on the mat came from watching basketball and studying the intense rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
“One of my favorite quotes and I might butcher this but it was from Larry Bird and he said his favorite part about winning a championship was knowing that Magic Johnson was in the opposite locker room suffering,” Burroughs said. “He’s just a savage. Like he loved the sport. He brought a toughness that was unparalleled. He played because he wanted to win.”
And who is Burroughs biggest rival?
“Any Russian but there’s one in particular Denis Tsargush. The last seven World and Olympic Championships have been one but us two,” recalled Burroughs.
While most Olympians are focusing on Rio, Burroughs is looking ahead, already announcing he will go for gold in 2020.
“You announce it but then you think about it afterward and you think ‘man can I really do this?’ because it’s really a day to day battle that you deal with in terms of complacency, excitement, just true love for the sport. I don’t want to do it if I don’t love it,” Burroughs shared.
He says the one thing that will guarantee his making another run for the Olympics is getting anything less than gold this summer.
“If I don’t get gold in Rio then I’m going to be hungry.”
It seems he’s been hungry his entire career, pulling off a 69-match win streak– the longest winning streak in U.S. history on the senior level.