Video: Gable Steveson Does Backflip Celebrating Wrestling Gold Medal at Olympics

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2021

United State's Gable Dan Steveson celebrates after defeating Georgia's Gennadij Cudinovic during their men's freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
AP Photo/Aaron Favila

American Gable Steveson celebrated in grand fashion after taking gold in the 125-kilogram men's freestyle wrestling event at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Friday.

Steveson came from behind to beat Georgia's Geno Petriashvili 10-8 in the gold-medal match and pulled off his signature backflip afterward to punctuate the victory:

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

That GOLD medal feeling. 🥇<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/GableSteveson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GableSteveson</a> <a href="https://t.co/rded6GWL6o">pic.twitter.com/rded6GWL6o</a>

The 21-year-old Steveson wrestles in the super heavyweight division, which is the heaviest weight class contested at the Olympics. The super heavyweight limit is 125 kilograms, which equates to about 275 lbs.

As seen in the following video courtesy of NBC Olympics, Steveson was down 8-5 with about 12 seconds remaining in the match, but he staged a furious comeback with a pair of late takedowns to pry the gold from Petriashvili's grasp:

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

WHAT JUST HAPPENED! 🥇<a href="https://twitter.com/GableSteveson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GableSteveson</a> grabs the GOLD as time expires. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/yqMc3wbXsu">pic.twitter.com/yqMc3wbXsu</a>

The win marked Team USA's first gold medal in men's freestyle wrestling's super heavyweight division since Bruce Baumgartner in 1992.

Steveson is perhaps the most highly regarded freestyle wrestling prospect in the world, as he is fresh off winning an NCAA Division I national championship at 285 lbs. for the University of Minnesota.

In addition to beating Petriashvili, who was the world champion in 2019, he beat Turkey's Taha Akgul earlier in the tournament. Akgul won gold five years ago at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Steveson's performance was so impressive that he received a congratulatory tweet from WWE legend Triple H:

Triple H @TripleH

A GOLD-MEDAL celebration!!! <br>Congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/GableSteveson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GableSteveson</a> on his performance at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a>. Focused until the last second, another gold meal for <a href="https://twitter.com/USAWrestling?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USAWrestling</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamUSA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamUSA</a>!!!! <a href="https://t.co/3ngH9Mrbok">https://t.co/3ngH9Mrbok</a>

Steveson is considered a strong prospect to transition to the world of professional wrestling with WWE. He has openly talked about his lifelong goal of being in WWE, and he appeared in the crowd for WWE's NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in April.

Given his size, strength and athleticism, Steveson seems like a perfect fit for pro wrestling, especially following the success of another Olympic gold medalist in Kurt Angle.