Less than two years after graduating from Nebraska, Jordan Burroughs will take his talents to London later this month in the Olympics — and he’s expecting nothing less than gold. Burroughs talks about how he made from the mats at Nebraska to the world stage, who his toughest opponent will be at the Olympics and what makes wrestling fans so unique.
Which two international wrestlers do you think will be your toughest obstacles?
Probably an Iranian that I wrestled in the world finals last year and a Russian that I also wrestled who was a two-time world champ. Those are the toughest guys in the weight besides myself. You never know who is going to come out and who is going to show up that day, so I’m just taking on all comers and preparing myself and hopefully wrestling well.
Why is your double-leg so good? And if you double-leg anyone in history who would it be and why?
I trained a lot. I’ve done a double-leg thousands of times. I’ve perfected it. It’s all about timing and anticipation. It’s kind of like Tiger Woods going to the driving range and taking a swing 1,000 times.
If I could double-leg anyone? I don’t know who it would be. I don’t know if anyone could stop it.
How did you go from not being the best to where you are now?
A lot of hard work. A lot of dreaming. I dream big. I work hard. Everyone wants to be a champ, but not everyone wants to workout like a champ. Every day when I step into the wrestling room, when I step into the weight room, I go as hard as I can. When you go out there every day in the practice room and work as hard as you can it translates into a lot of wins on the mat.
Did you have surgery?
I had surgery on my LCL and my PCL in my left knee in 2009. I was off the mat for about seven months. I came back the following year, my senior year of college, and had my most dominant year. I think the biggest part of that transition was being hungry. I was complacent with where I was in my career. I was national champ in 2009, but had my time away from the sport. I just realized everything happens for a reason. It was a blessing and a gift and a curse all at the same time. It gave me my hunger back and made me realize how much I miss the sport and how quickly it can be taken away from me if I was complacent where I was in my career.
What is your daily program like? How many hours are you training?
I train every day. I probably have Sundays off, or one day a week. Normally, Monday, Wednesday and Friday we go about four hours a day. Tuesdays and Thursdays we go about two hours. It’s a tough training regimen, but I wouldn’t call it sacrifice. I just call it a commitment. I know what I’m into. I can’t complain because I made this commitment. I want to be the best, so this is what it takes.
Why are wrestling fans some of the best and most passionate fans in all of sports?
Wrestlers are intense. They love the sport. I love wrestling. Everyone loves it. It’s a tight-knit group. It’s a tight-knit community. And we don’t get a lot of recognition, so for us it’s not about the money or the fame or the respect outside the wrestling community. It’s really just about the glory of being the best and going up against another man and imposing your will on him.
How much do you enjoy your social media presence, knowing that you have fans out there that you can interact with?
It’s awesome. I love to interact with the fans. I was one of those guys a couple of years ago. I was a high school kid who wanted to interact with the best guys in the world. For me, any time I get to reach out to my fans, I let them know that you guys motivate me. Thank you, I appreciate the support and hopefully we’ll be bringing back some gold in August.