Ten days ago, Kurt Angle announced to the local Pittsburgh media that he was seriously considering returning to amateur wrestling in an audacious attempt to make next year's U.S. Olympic team despite being 42 years old:
"It's not just this old man trying to lash out to get publicity. It's about really making the team and making a point that, you know what, the 40s is not old. It's the new young."
Angle said he and his nephew, Mark, 34, have discussed the idea of making a run at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Both were All-American wrestlers at Clarion University.
"I feel really good at 42, and I might be making a statement that him and I are going to start training for the Olympics and go after the U.S. Open, the Olympic team trials, and then the Olympics."
I didn't blog about it at the time because it seemed like yet another of Angle's tall stories, who is up there with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Chael Sonnen as the biggest bullshitters in the business. We're still waiting for Angle to do an MMA fight, after years of big talk and complete inaction which involved stringing along multiple promotions including the UFC, IFL and Bodog into believing that he was serious about signing with them to fight. The comment about feeling "really good at 42" was a red flag, given that Angle's clearly still got substance abuse issues, as demonstrated by his recent arrest for drunk parking, and his history of severe spinal injuries is well documented.
However, this may be a case of the Olympic hero crying wolf once too often. As Dave Meltzer reports in the subscriber only May 10th Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Angle has already started training extremely hard with his nephew Mark and is actually deadly serious about the Olympic goal. Of course, this is still a pie in the sky fantasy. Between his age, wear and tear, lengthy layoff from the sport and all his distractions (wrestling professionally for TNA, making bad movies, pushing his line of nutritional meals, etc), the chances of him even making it to the Olympic team trials are exceptionally slim. Indeed, the likely end result is that Angle comes to his senses and realises that making the Olympics is a much bigger long shot today than it was eight years ago, when he last flirted with the idea of an amateur wrestling comeback, which he never followed through on.