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An Interview with WWE Legend Kurt Angle

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Incredibly pleased society. We've got joining us. Who never quite expected? That's phones on silent everyone. I never expected that we would have on. Tko wwe wrestling legend. Kurt Angle first of all. Thank you so much for for taking the time to join us. Thanks for having me on. And let's see you're over here with them. WWe promoting the new bt sport. Yes exclusively in the UK for the two thousand and twenty busy day few. Yeah we started early morning and we're GONNA go out tonight we just have like a a gathering at bt. Not and. I think it ends at eleven o'clock but we started early morning and this is normal for for sports entertainers. Yeah do a lot of media so going a huge wrestling fan on A. You didn't have sky in your house. Yes so I was like an a young kid by Cole I was Afam. wrassling bottom was on the subway channels and I didn't have sky the watch it as much as other guys. Yeah but I was obviously a world of high beg ables. Did you know when you first joined. Because obviously in these this day and age social media the Internet you know how truly global the companies and how far you're reaches but were you aware in in the late ninety s just how many people were watching worldwide now. I I didn't watch wrestling. I didn't grow up watching it. I start watching it it would. I started so when I saw the company late ninety eight. That's when I started watching I do WanNa come on those days. But he's okay. You got quite like to find Natalie about your amateur wrestling career because as a professional sportsman. That's something that you were known for his part of your. WWe character but actually that was a huge part of your career and your life you were in a family of rest is your brother's arrest sits right yeah had four brothers. They all wrestled. They were all very successful. I was the youngest. Didn't really like wrestling. The START WITH I. I like team sports. I didn't like it depending solely on me but the more I watched my brothers and growing up I start liking wrestling. I started getting better and eventually I got better than they were and then I became came the best of my family by win the Olympic medal. Yeah 'cause wrestling in America's be of a high school institution because we have it starts when you're serve in elementary school visit. Almost every school has a program right so junior high high school college. It's very big over there. So it's it's part of our culture because a lot of people call for boxing to be put into schools as part of the curric- it used to be in the schools and there's a call for it become back and installs obviously a lot of discipline and everything else and you see the the problems that society has these with Nayef Cram and gang culture and everything else. I think. Think that programs like that rather than in the states and boxing programs and the stats are in the UK. Only going to help us. What point did you? What age did you think this could really be serious for me as a career I would say around thirteen fourteen? I started having a lot more success and got to the high school level and I lost success there and it just carried over to college and I didn't really. Oh you think about Olympics. When I was younger I just thought about that season and if I could win the championship that year and every year I continue to win which Olympic I'm big city one nine hundred ninety six Atlanta Atlanta well? Is that your proudest moment. Out of everything you've done in your career. Olympic gold medal surpasses says anything. Yeah it was You know even bigger than anything. I've accomplishing wwe. Yeah Yeah Imagine. That was a kind of Golden Olympics for the US esteem cousteau was the homeland picked. Michael Johnson it like the basketball team is Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal came one. Those guys Gail Devers. Even Andre Agassi won the tennis and we're legends in that team. What was it like to be off in the Olympic Village? Seeing those people it was pretty cool. You know you knew it was special when you went to opening ceremonies and you saw the athletes there and the guys you mentioned they were the guys and girls that were participating that were already professionals professionals and they made it you know viable for pros to end up competing in the Olympics and so you saw basketball and tennis. Ns and now even golf. So the the pros are going and winning medals as well now so those of it because one of the things the Olympics exp boxing is one of the only sports where there is a kind of. There's another trajectory and other policy if you win a medal for of sports certainly minority sports. That aren't necessarily a lot of TV coverage the Olympic medal can often be the kind of end of the road. There isn't anywhere else. I speak to go resting very well. Be One of those is and and so for you that amazing so the question I was going to ask you without. FMA How to beg then as it was Ni- would you have took that pop rather than the wwe without a doubt. Yeah wow it wasn't at that point. UFC struggling they offered me a ten fight. Deal for one hundred fifty grand and that was our biggest contract they ever offered. This was in ninety seven and then sound very good to me so I decided decide to go pro wrestling and by two thousand one two thousand and two you have see was kicking in high gear but I was already drawn in and a pro wrestling scene. So how how did the what was the chain of events that let you to the door of of the W W well in one thousand nine hundred sixty minutes man offer me a contract. I flew up to meet with them and I wasn't interested. I had a lot of people. Tell me you know you grew up. You never watched the Fake what you did was real a lot of my peers. Were telling me don't do it. So my agent through the contract the way and I'd say in one thousand nine hundred star watching Watching stone. Don't go Steve Austin the Rock and however flannel. They weren't how entertaining they were. I thought man I could do this. I think it'd be a lot of fun and you have see at the time. Time wasn't going anywhere so I went with a wwe. What was the the early memories? Because I imagine wrestling's one of the toughest sports there is a is a amateur wrestling but of red. If in a few places that is a pro wrestling were were incredibly tough. What were your first memories of some of the first lessons and training training sessions? You did all the first day. When I started training I quit? I took three bumps and my neck the pain I was getting my neck and back it was like this isn't normal. You don't it's like self abuse and you know we bump on plywood. It's a lot like this and There's no spring underneath It is self mutilation. You're you're basically beating that crap on yourself because you're allowing. I mean people were throwing around and take your head off with a clothesline and the object. You're bumping on his plywood so it was very abusive in the first day. I I didn't like it and I decided to hang in there. I came back the next day and I continued on. I got used to bumping and and used the pain so eventually didn't bother me as much but I'm paying for it. Now see a leg generation before ours. My Dad's generation. They would not really look favorably upon the tablet Ali. But what these guys do is take some serious stick their body. There's some serious injuries and stuff. It's you know your two weight world champion. And you've taken many punches to the head and body is is anyone WanNa taking a lifetime. What is what is pain to you guys? How do you manage pain? Do you ever get used to it as ever become less painful or do you just become used to living in that place. It's something you get used to. And as a young boxer I think Jimmy Moore. My trainer is spoke about this and said that you can tell from a very young age or someone hazard or not and it's normally a kids barn and if they take a punch annoys on they don't cry and they punch back it's like you can't make the Paean it's like I don't know what obviously adrenaline carries you through a lot of it but it's not like a real specific. If you punch me in the arm Ni- I would feel feel more pain than actually punching ahead fate strange sensation. It's not nice but it's very very hard up. Manassas gray but law detainees. I've not been able describe pain amateur wrestling pro wrestling. What are the worst kind of pain that you can describe? And how do you deal with those. I think the worst pain I had and I still have it now as an amateur wrestling right before the Olympics I got thrown on my head and I broke my neck and I didn't know it. I kept wrestling again that day. I ended up winning the US Open and that put me in a good position to make the Olympic team for the Olympic. Trials made me the top guy so I didn't have the Russell the mini tournament Face the winner of the mini tournament. I was the guy that the mini tournament faced. So Oh i I I couldn't get passed by any doctor doctor. Wood Passer would allow me to wrestle so I eventually found a doctor and and he said the only thing you can do. You can't train you just would just stick in a neck with Nova game and you won't feel the pain. And he was right every match. I had at the trials and the Olympics. I got twelve shots. Novacaine the back of my neck couldn't feel it for about an hour and Russell and then an hour later I'd be in a lot of pain. You won the Olympic Games uh-huh with a broken neck that's insane quotes and wwe also. Yeah yeah I broke both my hands. The last vote doesn't ideal and it wasn't wasn't nice but it's hard to imagine when the pinnacle of Your Sport Olympic Games to be competing against the top guys in the world with a broken neck does that. I can't imagine boxing. We're broken hand. We are called you a few weeks ago and you said this is the most pain I think I've ever been in the radon especially she'll have a little bit of bone removed from the right time but there there was a a tendon that had ripped and it needed stitch together without that Han was give me more than than the left hand which has seven unscrews and appropriate and at night. He's but just because it had to have some work done the Tandon It was It wasn't wasn't nice. I WanNa ask you a question. Did you know ahead had a time that you're gonNA be suffering after your career from the injuries. Would you go back and when you do it all over again I we do it all over again because obviously enjoyed every bit of my career. I've been very successful more successful than I probably would have imagined. I've been lucky enough that my injuries alot. My last night I broke Mahan but previous my husband really suffered injuries but I would one hundred percent hop gum heart do it all over again. What about you? I don't know I mean I'm I'm hurting pretty badly my knees my back my neck. Sometimes I think about you know what when I go back my quality of life right now socks so I do have a lot of suffering. I had a painkiller addiction overcame about six years ago and you know stay clean and struggle. In the way I have been very difficult. was there a lot of pressure even when you had injuries week in week out to go and perform Tom. Did you ever feel that. You couldn't say no part of the problem no I I. Nobody ever forced me to do anything. There are a lot of times. I had a a great doctor that you gave me off had three neck surgeries and he was very easy to manipulate. So you know when I broke my neck and I had surgery I would talk him into clear Amina go back early and At the time he didn't have their wellness policy L. A. C. set where they had their doctor clear. You we go to our own doctor and I was able to do that a couple of times where I should have. I've been back and I did so I broke my neck four more times and WWF and It caused me to go into a downward spiral painkiller. Alert addiction in just almost room my life so it was. It was very difficult. Can I just say you have one of the strongest biggest looking knocks. Have you seen as well. Yeah Rick out again. Yeah wow so. How many times are you performing when when you when you arrested him? Mm to twice a week. You'll be performing five days a week. You for forming five