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Olympian turns to bankruptcy to deal with financial challenges

Some of our Tennessee readers may remember Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner. He earned a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics by shocking the sports world in pulling off a defeat over renowned Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, a superb wrestler who was riding a streak of 13 years without a defeat before their match. After that feat, Gardner went on to win the world title in 2001, and then a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. His sports victories made him quite famous, and, as a result, he began to attempt to make some financial headway off of his good fortune.

However, as luck would have it, it seems Gardner may have started to face a few too many financial challenges to overcome. He recently filed for bankruptcy, listing debts of approximately $3 million, compared to a listed yearly income of $37,395.

Gardner has indicated that some of the $3 million in debt is in dispute, as he alleges he was the victim in a Ponzi scheme, as well as stating that he was only a co-signer on part of the debt involving a real estate deal. Regardless, at this time an auction of some of his belongings is scheduled for early November.

Filing for bankruptcy is meant to help a person achieve debt relief by halting creditor harassment, and then either selling off non-exempt assets to pay debts or structuring a debt repayment plan into manageable payments. Whether the reason is because of the continually struggling economy, medical expenses or other unexpected life changes, a person can look into either Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy to see if one of those options would be the best path in order to eliminate debt.

Source:, "Wrestler Gardner files for bankruptcy," Sept. 18, 2012

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
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