For a man whose Twitter handle is ‘All I See Is Gold’ there’s no doubt that Olympian Jordan Burroughs has had only one thing on his mind for quite some time.
As the 2012 Olympic games kick off in London, the United States Olympic squad believes they have a few gold medals already locked up.
It’s hard to argue against the U.S. basketball team capturing gold when led by names like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Multi-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps seems like a shoe-in to bring home a few more when he competes this year.
But as far as the U.S. wrestling team goes the hopes and dreams of the grappling elite sit squarely on the shoulders of two-time NCAA champion from Nebraska, Jordan Burroughs, who is the best chance for gold at this year’s Olympics.
“I love the pressure. It’s been on me a number of times in my college career, being the best guy in the college room, and around the country. For me now I’m No. 1, I’ve got the weight on my shoulders, but I embrace it,” Burroughs said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com.
“A lot of people are looking up to me, looking forward to me winning, and I just want to get the ball rolling for the U.S. and represent my country well.”
While many wrestling purists will look at the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and point to a few possible candidates as gold medal hopefuls, Burroughs is as close to a sure thing as there is in these games.
Burroughs knows that it all comes down to his performance however and upsets have been a part of Olympic lore for decades, so he can’t take his eye off the prize. But for this young 24-year old kid from New Jersey, the Olympics have been the goal since day one on the mats and he’s not going to let anyone stop him.
“For me it’s all about being an Olympic gold medalist. The money will come down the road further, but for me I just want to walk around and say I’m an Olympic gold medalist. That’s the most important thing for me,” said Burroughs.
“It’s been a dream since I was a kid to be a part of the opening ceremonies, to carry a flag on my back, and represent our U.S. country. It’s awesome, I’m excited. I put a lot of hard work in for years and years and I just want to have it all come into realization.”
Burroughs has plans of competing at this year’s Olympics in London and then again at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and then he will turn his attention to another sport.
As a long time fan of mixed martial arts, Burroughs has already dabbled in some MMA training while becoming close friends with competitors like Strikeforce Grand Prix champion and former Olympian Daniel Cormier.
His search for the gold belt in MMA will begin in a few years, but that’s after he brings home the greatest prize of all for the United States Olympic team first.
“Probably after the 2016 Olympics,” Burroughs commented about his move into MMA.
“I want to go two Olympic cycles, I feel like I have a lot of wrestling left in me, a lot of double legs left in me, so basically that’s my focus right now win a couple world medals, win a couple gold medals in the Olympics, and make that transition into MMA.”
The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic games in London kick off on Friday.
Check out the video below for the full interview with Jordan Burroughs: