Hometown: Logan, Utah
Occupation: Gym owner and motivational speaker
Olympic athlete Rulon Gardner was born and raised in Afton, Wyo., the youngest of ten children. He was overweight growing up but still in good shape from wrestling and playing football. He graduated from Nebraska University with a degree in physical education and went on to become an Olympic athlete, winning the gold medal for wrestling in the 2000 Olympics, and the bronze medal in 2004. Rulon says he gained the weight when he continued to eat like an Olympic athlete after he stopped training for the Olympic team. He knew he had to change his life when he tried to weigh himself and his 435 lb. scale would not register his weight. Being diagnosed with sleep apnea and high blood pressure made it even more imperative that he lose weight. Now 39 years old, 474 lbs. and married, Rulon looks forward to starting a family with his wife and getting into his jeep without straining after he’s lost the weight. He was inspired by season nine winner Michael Ventrella because he made the commitment to get the weight off, despite being the show’s heaviest contestant ever.