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Olympic medalist Jordan Burroughs gets into verbal confrontation with unruly fan after heartbreak at US trials

Jordan Burroughs’ hopes of reaching the Olympics, possibly for one last time, came to a heartbreaking end at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials hosted on Penn State’s campus Friday Night. 

Jason Nolf, one of the Nittany Lions’ own and a three-time NCAA national champion, took down Burroughs 3-0 to win the 74-kilogram challenger bracket final at the Bryce Jordan Center. 

Jordan Burroughs wrestles

Jordan Burroughs (right) wrestles Jason Nolf in a 74-kilogram challenge round championship bout during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Bryce Jordan Center April 19, 2024, in State College, Pa. Nolf won by decision, 3-0. (IMAGN)

The loss essentially ended Burroughs’ bid for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and possibly the 35-year-old wrestler’s career. 

“It’s sobering because the end is near. It could be six days from now or six months from now,” Burroughs told NJ.com before the trials. 

“I take solace in the fact I love what I do, I’m good at what I do. I’ve been able to do it at a high level for a long time. It’ll be hard unquestionably. I’ve been in it for so long, through multiple rules changes, multiple generations of greats. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go in this sport. But I also am content with what I’ve done, who I’ve become and the place I’ve left the sport. When the time comes, it will be an emotional moment, but it won’t linger because I know I’ve given all I’ve had. I won’t have any regrets.”

Jordan Burroughs olympics

A close-up of Jordan Ernest Burroughs after he won the men’s 74-kilogram freestyle gold medal match against Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi at ExCeL London. Aug. 10, 2012. (Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

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But before Burroughs had time to make a decision on retirement, one fan in attendance Friday heckled the gold medalist as he walked off the mat. 

Video shared on social media showed a man repeatedly shouting “career is over.”

Burroughs stopped and responded to the man, “Hey, what have you done?”

Nebraska wrestling head coach Mark Manning intervened and seemed to suggest that the unruly fan was drinking before shouting back, “Classless.” The two are eventually seen walking away from the incident. 

Jordan Burroughs wrestles

Jordan Burroughs (right) wrestles Jason Nolf in a 74-kilogram challenge round championship bout during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Bryce Jordan Center April 19, 2024, in State College, Pa. Nolf won by decision, 3-0.

A New Jersey native, Burroughs is among the most successful U.S. wrestlers. A six-time world champion, he earned his sole Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London. He also won multiple gold medals at the Pan American Games. 

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