LONDON (Reuters) - Jordan Burroughs won the first wrestling gold for the United States at the London Olympics on Friday, earning a $250,000 bonus from U.S. officials and vindicating his characteristically confident choice of Twitter name, “All I See Is Gold”.
The final brought together two countries that are old foes on the wrestling mat and on the world stage. Their leaders are locked in a charged standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
But politics were put to one side during a close-fought bout that eased pressure on a U.S. wrestling team that had previously won only a single bronze at the Games.
An ecstatic Burroughs leapt into the crowd at the end of the bout and hugged his mother before running back across the wrestling mat with the Stars and Stripes draped over his shoulders.
Not prone to self-doubt, Burroughs has “Dream It, Do It” tattooed across his chest and had predicted a gold medal in a series of upbeat messages to fans before the Games.
“I’m ready to wrestle anyone who steps across that line. If the Queen of England came out on the mat I probably would double-leg her,” he said. “I was ready to go…I had my cross-hairs, my target on a gold medal.”