Kurt Angle, two-time NCAA heavyweight champ and 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning freestyle wrestler who later became a long-time fixture in professional wrestling, was among those released by the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Wednesday, according to multiple media reports.
Here's how ESPN.com opened its news story concerning layoffs: "WWE, one of the few sports organizations still operating during the coronavirus pandemic, announced Wednesday that it was furloughing a portion of its workforce and releasing on-screen talent. Among the more high-profile names let go were former world champion Kurt Angle…"
Angle has been retired from in-ring competition since WrestleMania 35 one year ago. He has made sporadic appearances on WWE television programs since.
I wanted 2 say thank you to the WWE for the time I spent there.I made many new friends and had the opportunity to work with so many talented people. To the Superstars, continue to entertain the WWE Universe as well as you possibly can. They're the best fans in the world. #itstrue��" Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) April 15, 2020
Prior to launching his pro wrestling career, Kurt Steven Angle crafted a highly successful career in amateur wrestling, as a high school, college and international champion. A native of the Pittsburgh area, Angle was a three-time PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) state tournament qualifier, placing third in the state championships as a junior, and winning the state title as a senior in 1987.
Angle continued his folkstyle wrestling career in-state at Clarion University, where he was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American, winning heavyweight (285-pound) titles in 1990 and 1992, placing second in 1991.
After college, Angle focused on his freestyle wrestling career, winning a gold medal in the 100-kilogram (220-pound) weight class at the 1995 World Championships in Atlanta. One year later, in the same city, Angle earned gold in the same weight class at the 1996 Olympics. Angle was welcomed into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. as a Distinguished Member for his amateur wrestling accomplishments in 2001.