The U.S. Olympic wrestling team made the trip to London with high hopes of several medals, and with one man-Jordan Burroughs-expected to have a good shot at gold.
Burroughs did his part by winning the freestyle title at 74 kilograms, and fellow freestyle wrestler Jake Varner secured his own gold on the final day of competition at 96 kilograms.
This was a welcome improvement on the one freestyle gold won in Beijing by Henry Cejudo at 55 kilograms.
There were some significant disappointments, though.
Greco-Roman heavyweight Dremiel Byers did not live up to the hype as he failed to advance beyond the quarterfinals. Byers has three World Championships medals to his credit, but did not come close to the podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Rulon Gardner, with his 2000 Olympics gold at 130 kilograms over the legendary Aleksandr Karelin and his bronze at 120 kilograms at the Athens Games four years later, had the better career at heavyweight and is the most decorated American Greco-Roman wrestler.
The following list includes brief looks at each of the four American wrestling medalists in 2012:
Coleman Scott: Scott is one of many great wrestlers produced by western Pennsylvania over the years. He won bronze through the repechage at 60 kilograms. His only defeat was a semifinal setback to the eventual gold medalist, Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan.
Jordan Burroughs: Favored to win gold at 74 kilograms by many observers prior to the London Games, Burroughs did not let his supporters down. He dominated his opponents throughout the day, including standouts like Denis Tsargush of Russia and Iran's Sadegh Goudarzi in the final.
Jake Varner: Varner made it two freestyle wrestling golds for the U.S. by earning the title at 96 kilograms. The U.S. had not earned at least a pair of Olympic golds in the sport since 1996 in Atlanta.
Clarissa Chun: Chun, who will be 31 on August 27, got an early birthday present with a bronze at 48 kilograms. Hopefully her performance will inspire other American women in the sport to work harder over the next four years leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to tonight's Closing Ceremony from the London Games.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jake Varner
- Henry Cejudo