How Kurt Angle won an Olympic gold medal 'with a broken freakin' neck'

ByNic Atkin Via <a Href="http://espn.go.com/" Title="espn" Class="espn_sc_byline">espn </a>
September 23, 2016, 3:11 PM

&#151; -- LONDON -- Kurt Angle glanced for a brief moment at the picture staring back at him.

It was him, 15 years younger, hand on heart standing in front of the Stars and Stripes. Only a winged eagle perched on his shoulders would have made him look more patriotic.

The man in front of him had a lot more hair, was dressed in a stylish Team USA Olympic tracksuit and looked full of vigour.

Angle, the 2016 version, was shaved bald, decked out in sweatpants and a sweatshirt -- and he looked weary.

Having admired the front cover, he opened up my tattered copy of his 2001 autobiography, "It's True! It's True!," and signed: 'It's true. Kurt Angle, Gold 96.'

The pride in his achievement was obvious, and for good reason: he should not have even managed to get to the Olympic Games 20 years ago, let alone win a gold medal.

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