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July 28, 2019

Kurt Angle: The Reality behind the Famous WWE Personality

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Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle is often considered the ultimate wrestler. After winning his medal, the star joined the world of pro wrestling where he has bagged a number of championships.

With world championships in WWE, TNA, and Japan, Kurt Angle earned his position as a general manager. His role means he remains in the spotlight without risking possible bodily harm or another broken neck.

However, the stars life was not always as glittering as it appears now. His life offscreen has had its fair share of painful, scary and dark moments.


He was 16 When His Dad Died 

Kurt's father, David Angle was a crane operator. Even though he was not an athlete, he attended every single wrestling match and football game that Kurt took part in.

Unfortunately, he passed away when Kurt was 16. In August 1985 his father fell out of a 15-foot-high crane and landed on his head. Unfortunately, he ended up falling into a coma and died two days later.


Kurt decided to honor his memory by excelling at athletics. Kurt attributes his success to his father saying in his autobiography,

"I grew up and overcame my fears the day [my father] died. I vowed right then and there to become a champion, to do whatever it took."


Murder of his Trainer

David Schultz trained Angle for the 1996 Olympic games. However, he was killed in one of the most violent and senseless murders in amateur wrestling history before Angle won his medal.

Even though he was devastated,  Angle dedicated himself to honoring his trainer's memory by competing in the event. He went on to win gold. 


His Sister Overdosed

On September 15, 2003, his sister overdosed with heroin. At the time Kurt himself had begun experimenting with some substances as well.

Kurt's sister, Le'Anne began using heroin in 2003. Kurt only opened up about the incident in a 2014 YouTube video journal about his comeback after surgery.

In his journal, Kurt said, "I didn't deal with [her death]. … I went out there and had one of the best matches of my life. I hid the pain."


Breaking his Neck in the Olympic Trials

Angle often bragged that he won his gold medal "with a broken freakin' neck."  However, he admits that the incident led him to his drug addiction. 

During the Olympic trials, he had landed hard on his head causing two discs to herniate. He also cracked two vertebrae and pulled four neck muscles.  Even though the injuries should have stopped him from competing he insisted on fighting and bagged his medal.  

The next day his doctor ordered him to rest for at least six months. However, he decided to get a second opinion from a doctor who advised him not to do training and take Novocaine. While Angle managed to win an Olympic gold medal the medication sparked his drug addiction.



Addiction to Drug

Besides breaking his neck before the Olympics, Angle broke his neck several times as a pro wrestler. His addiction started with taking painkillers, in 2006, he admitted in an interview with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that at one stage he was taking up to 65 pills a day including Percocet, Vicodin, and Lorcet.

In August 2005, one terrible match left him with a host of dangerous injuries however, he refused to take more pills. A year later he told the Tribune-Review he was clean, unfortunately, he fell off the wagon again.

In 2014, Angle admitted to struggling with addiction to a potentially lethal cocktail of morphine, Xanax, and alcohol for seven-years. At the time he was putting his life together again. His addiction also saw him gather multiple DUI's.



His Lost His Wife to a Fellow Wrestler

Kurt Angle and his wife, Angle, finalized their divorce in 2008. However, Karen moved on with another wrestler who worked and co-owned the company he worked for.

According to PWInsider, Angle knew about their relationship before it was public. Karen and Jeff Jarrett tied the knot in 2011. However, Kurt married Giovanna Yannotti a year later.


Implicated in a Steroid Scandal

One of the darkest moments in Angle's career came in 2007. Sports Illustrated published a piece implicating Angle and other prominent athletes for reportedly using banned substances like steroids in 2014. However, Angle revealed it was not a get-ripped-quick scheme for him because he needed the steroids to recover from his broken neck.

However, he revealed he had planned to purchase the medication legally but his doctor "went online illegally and bought them for cheaper so he could make money from me."

Angle said, "The doctor robbed me is what happened."